House C’ttee List: Fresh War Brews Between Dogara, Gbajabiamila
A fresh political war appears to be brewing between the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, and the House Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, over the constitution of members of the House committees.
The Speaker, Dogara had last week announced chairmen and deputy chairmen for the 96 standing committees of the House, with members considered to be his loyalists getting some of the ‘juicy’ committees.
On the list, many lawmakers seen as Dogara’s allies in both the APC and the PDP got first grade committees, such as Committee on Appropriation; Committee on Finance; Committee on Power; Committee on Aviation; Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream and Downstream) and Committee on Basic Education, among others.
But members, who supported the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate for speakership, Femi Gbajabiamila have expressed disappointment over what they described as a lopsided appointments of committee chairmen by the House leadership.
It was gathered that the House Leader was miffed that he was sidelined in the appointment of some of the chairmen, though on the surface an impression was created that he (Gbajabiamila) recommended a number of his allies for appointment.
It was gathered that out of the 96 chairmen, the Speaker gave nine slots to Gbajabiamila’s allies.
The beneficiaries were Mr. James Faleke (Committee on Customs & Excise); Mr. Mohammed Monguno (Committee on Agricultural Services); Mr. Sani Zoro (Committee on IDPs); Mr. Yinka Ajayi (Committee on Aids/Loans); Mr. Jide Akinloye (Committee on Anti-Corruption); Mr. Peter Akpatason (Committee on Civil Societies); Mr. Kayode Oladele (Committee on Financial Crimes); Mr. Fakeye Olufemi (Committee on Insurance); and Mr. Balogun Yakub (Committee on Treaties/Protocol and Agreements).
Of the nine, only the Committee on Customs/ Excise and Committee on Agricultural Services qualified as first grade committees in the parlance of the House.
However, it was learnt that within the House, a message was said to have been passed around that the House Leader was allowed to nominate 30 committee chairmen.
But the new spokesman of the House, Abdulrazak Namdas in a statement last Friday, debunked the claims that Dogara’s men got more lucrative committees.
Namdas explained that by tradition, certain committees were reserved for particular zones of the country.
He said Dogara merely kept to the tradition while sharing the committees.
“It is worthy of note that the leadership of the House runs an all-inclusive administration with all Nigerians, having a sense of belonging, while not being unmindful of our party (the APC).
“This our disposition has reflected not only in the appointment of standing committees but also of ad hoc committees.