Within 24 hours of the endorsement of Femi Gbajabiamila, others from the party from other zones are unrelenting while others are popping up their fingers to contest the same office of Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The North Central Caucus of the House of Representatives on Wednesday pledged its loyalty to the ruling party, but rejected the endorsement of Majority Leader Gbajabiamila to be the number four citizen.
At a meeting hosted by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday night the party, buoyed by the support of National Leader Bola Tinubu, pitched its tent with the majority leader.
John Dyegh from Benue State said the North Central caucus has protested the endorsement and pleaded the office be zoned to the North Central.
Said Dyegh on Wednesday to jjournalists: “We are not fighting the party, we are not. We shall not, we are only giving the party an opportunity to come back and look at the zoning and look at what we are saying.
“Taking what the party says hook, line and sinker is not democratic, we are in a democracy. We have right to vie for position, there’s freedom of expression.
“We believe in party supremacy. Yes, the party is supreme. I sing that, I say it, I believe it, I go by what the party says but this is democracy and I believe we should give the Green chamber an option.
“My party the APC in her wisdom zoned the position of Speaker to the South West and even micro-zoned.
“I am a party man and my loyalty to the APC is 100 percent, however, the North Central zone has not been convinced nor given reasons why their votes should not count and why we should not run and we feel very strongly that there is still room for negotiation because we believe ‘it is not over until it is over’.
“We are therefore appealing to the party to have a rethink and rezone the speakership to the North Central for justice and fair play. We pray to God Almighty to touch the hearts of our Leaders to reconsider us favourably.
“It will only be fair, if the position of Speaker is given to the North Central, having taken away the seat of Senate President to the North East.
“It is instructive to note that the North Central has neither produced Speaker nor the Deputy Speaker since 1999.
“We are saying that reward in politics is based on what you bring to the table and the North Central brought the third highest number of votes in making President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term a reality and enabling the APC to form Federal Government”.
Dyegh has declared his interest to be Speaker in the 9th Assembly.
Others that have shown interest in the coveted seat in the APC are Segun Odebunmi, Ahmed Idris, Abdulrazak Namdas, Yusuf Buba, Chike Okafor, Nkiruka Onyejiocha, and Umar Bago,
Nigeria Everyday learnt that in the mix of the plot to take over the seat presently occupied by Barrister Yakubu Dogara, is an insidious plan to neutralise the influence of Bola Tinubu by some APC chieftains “who are bent on clipling his wings”.
Another factor is the weight of influence the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members are going to bring to bear on who finally emerges.
But APC’s Party Chair, Adams Oshiomhole, appears to be ruining the chances of the party’s endorsed candidates.
Though the party gave the go-ahead for members seeking offices in the Senate to reach out to PDP members in the two chambers, his comments at the Tuesday Villa dinner for House members, it was learnt, is already creating difficulties for those endorsed as they would tagged as men coming to enforce the party’s stiff positions against opposition members.
Oshiomhole, known as a Tinubu man, declared opposition PDP members will not be appointed as chairmen of committees.
His words: “In life, mistakes are permitted. But it becomes a problem if the mistake is repeated twice. We are determined not to repeat the mistakes of 2015 in 2019, we have learnt our lesson.
”Out of 223 APC elected members, 67 were re-elected, the rest are new members.
”In other climes, you don’t go into coalition when you are in the majority, you do so when you don’t have the numbers. We have the numbers, out of 360, Nigerians elected 223 APC members because they don’t want Mr President to face the trauma of 2015, ” he said.
The APC chairman said the House of Representatives has 96 committees and that all re-elected members will chair strategic committees.
”Even new members will chair committees this time around,” he said
He added: “We cannot as a party which has a comfortable majority, entrust critical committees in the hands of the PDP or opposition.
“If Nigerians wanted them, they could have voted them. In the days of PDP, every committee were chaired by PDP members.
“The good news is that there is a role for everyone.
“Both the re-elected and new members are entitled to heading committees
“We have asked our people not to share what belongs to us with other party members.
“I don’t have apologies against forces of retrogression”.
His comments, seen as a ploy to buy the loyalty of new comers, eager to chair committees and enjoy the accrusing perquisites, many feared Wednesday may backfire, “as the suddenly quiet PDP members may spring an unexpected surprise by lining up behind “an unknown and unendorsed candidate” to carry the day.