HomeHistoryThe battle for leadership of 9th Assembly has began, Tinubu make the list.
March 3, 2019
The battle for leadership of 9th Assembly has began, Tinubu make the list.
have started emerging on the struggle for the leadership of the 9th National
Assembly billed for inauguration in June.
Studies reveal that the
ruling party had zoned the Senate presidency to the North-East and the Speaker
of the House as well as the Deputy Senate presidency to the South-West.
the leading aspirants
in the South-West gunning for the Deputy Senate President seat are Senator
Oluremi Tinubu, who is the wife of the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola
Tinubu, (Lagos Central); a former Senate Majority Leader, Senator Teslim
Folarin (Oyo Central) and Senator Ajayi Boroffice (Ondo North).
The latest from the
APC is that there is a zoning arrangement the party wants to implement, which
the leaders seem to have agreed on. The North-East will produce the Senate
President while the South-West will produce the Speaker.
“The South-East and
South-South would be included at certain levels. It will be planned the same
way it was done in 2015.
“Now that the
South-West will produce deputy Senate president, the race is now between three
ranking members from the geopolitical zone, namely Teslim Folarin, Oluremi
Tinubu and Ajayi Boroffice.”
A prominent APC member in the House from the
North-East, who is part of those backing an aspirant to be speaker, disclosed
that they had begun to lobby their colleagues in the chamber.
The lawmaker said
although it was certain that Dogara would lose the Speaker’s seat, aspirants
would not openly declare their bid for the seat until it was close to the end
of the Speaker’s tenure.
The lawmaker added,
“Although the APC might want to go for the old template; within the House,
members from the North-East are insisting on having their slot as speaker. So,
for the North-East, it is between Abdulrazak Namdas (Adamawa) and Mohammed
Monguno (Borno). They are the two main contenders.
“For instance, Namdas
came from the constituency of the presidential candidate of the PDP, former
Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, and he is the only one who won for the APC in
the entire senatorial district Atiku comes from.”
When contacted on the
aspiration, Namdas neither confirmed nor denied vying for the speaker of the
“I am eligible to be
speaker but it is too early to make a stand because we are still dealing with
the governorship and state House of Assembly elections. We will make our
positions known as soon as we are back; when we resume,” the Rep added.
Monguno could not be
reached to confirm being in the race. When contacted on the telephone, his line
indicated that it had been switched off.
SATURDAY PUNCH had
exclusively reported that barely one week after the National Assembly elections
were held, several lawmakers, who won, had begun to lobby for leadership
The ruling APC, which
has retained its majority status according to the results declared by the
Independent National Electoral Commission, is said to have already zoned the
presiding and principal offices of the chambers to geopolitical zones.
Several lawmakers in
the Senate and House of Representatives, who spoke to our correspondents,
stated that the APC would soon name its nominees for the leadership of the
A source close to the
leadership of the House, who spoke on condition of anonymity, disclosed that
the APC was already considering re-presenting its choice candidates in 2015 as
leaders of the National Assembly in 2019.
The APC, as the ruling
party and with the majority in both chambers of the National Assembly, had, in
2015, chosen the current Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan (Yobe, North-East),
to be President of the Senate, and the House Majority Leader, Mr Femi
Gbajabiamila (Lagos, South-West), to be the Speaker.
Bukola Saraki (Kwara, North-Central) and Mr Yakubu Dogara (Bauchi, North-East),
though APC members then, had formed an alliance with the opposition and
minority Peoples Democratic Party to emerge as Senate President and Speaker,
While Senator Ike
Ekweremadu (Enugu, South-East) of the PDP was elected Deputy Senate President
as part of the deal, Mr Yusuff Lasun (Osun, South-West) of the APC emerged
Deputy Speaker, against the wish of the ruling party.
However, while Saraki
lost his bid to return to the Senate in the election held last Saturday, Dogara
The National Assembly
source disclosed that Lawan and Gbajabiamila might be nominated by the party
again for the leadership of the chambers.
When asked if those
picked by APC for the positions had fresh chances in the 9th National Assembly,
the official said, “By the grace of God.”
The source added, “The
APC is still going with the 2015 template. The positions that may be in
contention will be deputy senate president and deputy speaker. This is due to
zoning (of top offices to geopolitical zones) and the characters of 2015 are
now different from those of 2019.”
Speaking on the
majority status of the APC in the 9th Assembly, the official noted that the
ruling party was already leading even though not all the results had been
declared by the INEC.
“So far from our
estimates, when the 8th Assembly was inaugurated in 2015, APC had 214 and PDP
had 140, while other parties shared the remaining seats. But from the headcount
we have done so far, we now have more than the 214,” the source said.
According to the
official, with more opposition parties winning seats in the chambers, the PDP
might be forced to lose principal and committee seats usually zoned to the
PUNCH had, on August
18, 2018, exclusively reported that the APC and its Senate caucus were
considering no fewer than three senators to replace Saraki for defecting from
the ruling party to the PDP.
For the replacements,
Lawan is from Yobe State in the North-East; Ndume is from Borno State, also in
North-East; while Abdullahi Adamu is from Nasarawa State in the North-Central.