The All Progressives Congress (APC) may face a fresh crisis as some members-elect of the federal parliament aspiring for the positions of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives have rejected the adoption of the former Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, as the next Senate President and Speaker of House of the Green Chamber, respectively.
While the Senator-elect for Zamfara West, and Senate presidential aspirant, Abdul’Aziz Abubakar Yari, yesterday rejected the adoption of Akpabio, a member representing Pankshin/Kanke/ Kanam Federal Constituency of Plateau State, Hon. Yusuf Gagdi also kicked against the endorsement of Abbas as the next Speaker of the House and formally declared interest for the position.
Also, a member representing the Kazaure, Roni, Gwiwa, Yankwashi federal constituency of Jigawa State, Muhammed Kazaure, has warned the APC leadership against the imposition of a Speakership candidate on the House.
The ruling APC and the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, had reportedly adopted Akpabio as President of the Senate in the coming 10th National Assembly.
Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdulahi Ganduje, had said Akpabio would be the next President of the Senate.
Ganduje reportedly stated this in Calabar last Thursday during a meeting with Cross River State Governor, Prof Ben Ayade, and the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
He said: “The Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will come from the South-South and it is no other person than the former governor of Akwa Ibom State.
“The uncommon governor, the uncommon minister, who is going to be the uncommon President of the Senate. So, we have resolved that. I am giving you assurances; we are waiting for the D-Day that he will be the Senate President of Nigeria.”
Ayade, who also spoke at the meeting, said: “I want to thank you so much for zoning the Senate presidency to the South-South and to our brother from a neighbouring state, who is also part of Cross River State.
“We want to thank you for this great opportunity because our dream of a Bakassi seaport is becoming very real.”
The leadership of the APC was also said to have endorsed Abbas as Speaker of the 10th House at a closed-door meeting at the Defence House on Friday.
But Yari yesterday rejected the adoption of Akpabio, insisting that the presiding officers of the Upper Chamber of the Assembly would be determined by the constitutional provision and not by anyone else.
Yari, the immediate-past governor of Zamfara State, said the contest for the Senate Presidency would be based on constitutional provisions and not instructions by anyone.
He said this while meeting with the executives of the Tinubu Shettima Network (TSN), headed by its National Chairman, Dr. Kailani Muhammad, in Abuja.
“The senate presidency is a senator’s business and, on the day, when we are going to do it, everybody may think of the body of the party or anyone who is advisory to what we are going to do that day; the final decision is ours.
“When we do that, we are not for anybody. We are doing what the constitution says that we should take our leader within ourselves.
“That is what the sections of the constitution stated very clearly. What is going to happen that day – it is going to happen based on the instructions of the constitution and not for anyone.
“So, we are going to exercise our constitutional rights there,” Yari said.
On his part, the member representing Pankshin/Kanke/ Kanam Federal Constituency of Plateau State, Hon. Gagdi, also yesterday kicked against the APC’s adoption of Abbas and formally declared to contest for the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Gagdi, who is also Chairman of the House Committee on Navy made the declaration in Abuja when he also unveiled his action plan titled: ‘The Gagdi Plan; One Nation, Forward Together’ and launched a Compendium of his Four Years Mandate.
He promised to end the practice where ministries, departments, and agencies fund the National Assembly to carry out oversight by putting in place a budget for the execution of that all-important function of the parliament.
The speakership hopeful further said an emerging trend of ministries, departments, and agencies budgeting for and executing projects outside their core competence will be ended to stop the perennial issue of duplication of duties.
He appealed to the leadership of his party, the APC, and other stakeholders to cede the position of the speaker to the North-central geopolitical zone which has not gotten the position since the return to democratic rule in 1999.
In a goodwill message, the member representing the Kazaure, Roni, Gwiwa, Yankwashi federal constituency of Jigawa State, Hon Kazaure, warned the APC leadership against the imposition of a Speakership candidate on the House.
Kazaure said he would prevail on Aliyu Betara who is also contesting for the position to drop his ambition and back Gagdi.
He recalled that Betara singlehandedly influenced the votes that led to the emergence of Yakubu Dogara and his successor, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 8th and 9th Assemblies.