How North plans to scuttle APC zoning arrangement for NASS leadership

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There is a growing move by some political bigwigs from the North to scuttle the All Progressives Congress (APC) zoning arrangement for the leadership of the National Assembly.

The current 9th National Assembly will draw the curtains on its activities in a fortnight. The leadership of the All Progressives Congress had in April zoned the leadership of the 10th National Assembly to the South-South (Senate President), North West (Deputy Senate President), Speaker (North West), and Deputy Speaker (South East). While the anointed candidates have been traversing the length and breadth of the country seeking the support of colleagues, state governors, and other stakeholders, there are undercurrent moves by some gladiators from the North to upstage a surprise come June 14th, when the legislators will be inaugurated.

Feelers from sources who are aware of the moves say efforts are on by lawmakers-elect, especially from the House of Representatives to challenge the party’s position. The sources hinted that the last-minute meetings in Abuja, Gombe, Sokoto, and Yola are championed by those who feel that the outgoing Speaker and Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila to impose an aspirant from the Northwest where the next head of the lower legislative chamber is zoned to come from.

The lawmakers-elect the sources posited are unhappy with the way Gbajabiamila and the party leaders selected Hon. Tajudeen Abass to become Speaker without due agreement from incoming lawmakers from the zone.
According to the sources: “Some of the Lawmaker-elect from the Northwest and by extension are unhappy with the way Tajudeen Abass came up; they insist they needed to be thoroughly consulted. They have been scheming to sponsor one of them to slug it out with Abbas, whom the Speaker of the 9th assembly favors; “Gbajabiamila is doing this selfishly because he has been dropping the name of the President, but we are aware that Mr. President is not in support of his shenanigans. Abbas now riding on the Nation Building – A Joint Task mantra that the Speaker used in 2019. You will recall a recent spat between the Speaker and Deputy Speaker on the floor of the house, where the Rt. Hon. Speaker made a decision based on his personal agenda and shut down the Deputy Speaker for daring to speak up. “Gbaja is acting like he owns the House of Representatives and plans to maintain this power-hold through Hon. Abbas Tajudeen.

“That itself is convincing enough that Hon. Gbaja has abused and called all of us incompetent, which is why we have been meeting to bring forward someone who can protect the integrity of the 10th House of Representatives. They should allow us to choose who we want. A zone is not a person; even if the NWC zoned the position to the North West, they should allow us to choose the best among us; it’s not their duty to choose anybody for us.
One point worthy of note is that the First Lady was the first to announce the Chief of Staff designate, Hon. Gbajabiamila before the President officially appointed him. This speaks volumes of the influence of the first lady and her desperation to be in charge of the government’s executive and legislative arms. We must not allow another cabal in the Villa under President Tinubu, which is why the North will go ahead and work against the so-called candidate of the Party. While we have no problem with how She imposed Gbajabiamila on Aso Rock, we won’t fold our arms and allow a few privileged individuals to impose their stooge on North West and, by extension, the Northern region.
“When we conclude the meetings, we will know who to support. We will keep working to ensure the zoning arrangement is scuttled, especially in the House of Representatives. Remember 2015, Hon. Yakubu Dogara and Hon. Yusuf Lasun became Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively, disregarding the party. We will pull the same stunt. They should allow us to do the right thing,” the lawmakers-elect concluded.