How They Begged Dogara To Appoint Gbajabiamila As Majority Leader3 min read
Some weeks back, Nigerians woke up from their sleep to be bombarded with the news of sudden crisis rocking the newly inaugurated 8th National Assembly, most especially the Federal House of Representatives. This crisis took its toll on both governance and legislative duties in the country as everything was practically grounded. First, it was leadership tussle between Femi Gbajabiamila and Yakubu Dogara. The battle for the top position was fought for some weeks before the Gbajabiamila caucus surrendered to the Dogara group who must have had a strong backup from both the North and the Presidency. Almost immediately emerging as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara found himself again in brouhaha with some segments of the members of the lower chamber. This was for no other reason but the selection and appointment of those that would head strategic positions which include the day-to-day administrative activities in the house. Suddenly, the house broke into factions with some segments of the house calling for the emergence of Gbajabiamila as the majority leader of the house as a compensation for him losing the speakership to Dogara, while the speaker himself saw no reason why Gbajabiamila would become the house majority leader when the deputy speaker, Lasun Yusuff is also from the same geopolitical zone with Gbajabiamila. This is the point Dogara stood upon that dragged the issue for several weeks before the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari who realized that the pleadings from party stalwarts and leaders fell on Dogara’s deaf ears. Buhari, on arrival from the United States quickly called for a peaceful meeting with the house leadership and maturely ensured a resolution with the warring factions before Dogara could allow the sleeping dogs lie.
We also gathered that apart from Buhari, some party stalwarts sent some elders who were very close to him to talk him into agreeing to allow peace to reign by announcing Gbajabiamila to become the house majority leader. The negotiations and subtle begging, we learnt, were on for weeks before Dogara finally agreed to announce Gbajabiamila.
However, a close watch at Gbajabiamila’s reaction to his being announced as the majority leader of the house revealed that he is not too excited after all. The wild jubilation by his supporters both in Abuja and his Lagos constituents does not reflect in his personal outlook even in the current sittings in the house. Gbajabiamila has suddenly become a shadow of himself and a ‘sidon-look’ representative as he seldom rises up and talks in the floor of the house unlike in the recent past when he was visibly vocal and contributed important issues in the house. This means that the battle may still be on between Dogara and Gbajabiamila if the leadership of the APC did not do anything to unite the duo as it would not augur well with the country at large due to the direct effect it would have on the citizenry.
Having seemingly weathered the storm on this leadership tussle, another monster raising its ugly head in the floor of the house is the selection and appointment of heads of committees in the house as old members of the house who have not been able to get a grip of juicy committees in the last session are on the front queue for such ‘hot’ committees at present. Top on the list of these committees are the Appropriation Committee, Oil and Gas, Finance, Power and Steel, Telecommunications etc. Insider information on this issue is that the battle line has been drawn within the house as members are seriously jostling to have a grip on one of these buoyant committees.