Top contenders for key positions in the National Assembly have intensified lobbying ahead of the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly.
The contenders despite waiting for the pronouncement on the zoning of offices by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have taken further steps.
The key positions in the National Assembly include President of the Senate, Deputy President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Three of the four current holders of the offices were re-elected, including Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Idris Wase.
However, the Deputy Speaker of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege lost his election to replace the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.
Following Tinubu’s victory, Gbajabiamila who is from the same state as the president-elect might not be able to retain his position as Speaker.
There are claims that a ranking senator from the North West who is plotting to replace Lawan has reached out to top emirs from the North.
He has also met with first-time senators-elect, with claims of alleged financial inducements during the hasty meeting held in Abuja.
According to Saturday Sun, the senator who heads a juicy committee in the Red Chamber has been reportedly told by his governor to drop the bid and allow a Christian from the South to occupy the position.
A source that spoke on the development said, “He’s not ready to listen to his governor.”
The current Deputy Speaker, Wase, a Muslim from Plateau State, who wants to replace Gbajabiamila as Speaker, is believed to have met with key governors from the South West and North Central.
He has also met some powerful emirs from the North to support his bid, though the aforementioned have no voting rights in the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, the Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, has endorsed Wase’s bid.
This is coming despite strong indications that the position may be zoned to the North West
Governor Sule had said: “I’m not just in support of the North Central for speakership; I’m fully behind you in your quest to be the next speaker of the House of Representatives. I’m leading and at the forefront of your campaign.
“We know of course, that the conversation about the next National Assembly leadership has been on for some time, even though informally. For me as an individual, you do not need to visit to inform me formally because I’m the one leading your campaign to be Speaker and for the North-Central to have the slot.
“If my counsel is considered, the issue of the speaker should be a matter that must be treated based on merit and experience. Both are on your side. Apart from the fact that you have been in the National Assembly for some time, your consistency, tenacity of purpose and humility stand you out. As for me and Nasarawa State, rest assured that we are solidly behind you.”
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