House Leadership Crisis: Dogara, Gbajabiamila Groups In Claims And Counter Claims
The crisis in the House of Representatives over the sharing of principal positions in the Green Chambers of the National Assembly remained cloudy last night after claims and counter claims about the resolution of the stalemate.
The camp of Speaker Yakubu Dogara sparked the latest standoff after announcing that the crisis had been resolved with the Femi Gbajabiamila group accepting the sharing formula proposed by the Speaker.
Details of the sharing unveiled by Abdulmumin Jibrin are: Alhassan Ado Doguwa (APC Kano, North West) as House Leader; Buba Jibrin (APC Kogi, North Central) as Deputy Leader; Pally Iriase (APC Edo, South South) as Chief Whip; and Chika Okafor (APC Imo, South East) as Deputy Chief Whip.
“Interestingly, both the Speaker and a great majority of the APC caucus in the House including gladiators in the Gbajabiamila’s group like Mongunu, Doguwa and Pally support and stand by the Equity Team,” Jibrin said.
“We have commenced collection of signatures which has reached advanced stage to affirm the Dogara Formula. All other interests, including those excluded from the principal officers specifically Gbajabiamila and Mongunu will be duly accommodated with commensurate responsibility to serve. Since the Speaker has about 200 positions to share out, many members will have the opportunity to serve the country.
“In light of this development, it is heart-warming to announce to you that the disagreement in the house, which many have erroneously labelled as crisis, has finally come to an end?.”
Three of Gbajabiamila’s supporters – Mohammad Monguno (Northeast) , Alhassan Doguwa (Northwest) and Pally Iriase (Southsouth)- announced their acceptance of Dogara’s proposal.
But in a swift reaction, Gbajabiamila’s loyalists denied that they had reached an agreement with Dogara.
Their spokesman, Nasiru Zangon-Daura, in a terse statement, denied “any purported endorsement of a so-called formula.”
“Any member of our group who claims to be part of this arrangement acts on his own and not on behalf of the group,” he declared.
At stake are the positions of House leader, deputy House leader, Chief Whip and Deputy Chief Whip.
The party had written to Dogara that Gbajabiamila be made House leader but Dogara rejected the directive.
The Speaker’s camp is insisting that the Northeast and the Southwest having already got the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker cannot be accommodated in the sharing of the remaining four positions.
The APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun had, on Friday summoned Speaker Dogara ostensibly on resolving the deadlock.
There were suggestions that Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun from Osun State was being prevailed upon to step down.
On the same day Gbajabiamila was at the State House, Abuja to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari.
He emerged from the meeting to dash to the party’s National Secretariat to see Chief Odigie-Oyegun on the same matter.
The House has been enmeshed in crisis since the June 9 election of Dogara and Lasun as Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively.
It is scheduled to resume sitting on Tuesday, a week later than it originally proposed.