Tinubu in crucial talks over Senate President, Speaker
With strike threat by Labour as an aftermath of petrol subsidy removal over, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has turned his attention to a smooth take-off of the 10th National Assembly.
President Tinubu will hold talks with All Progressives Congress (APC) governors and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) today on preparations for the election of presiding officers, which is the first activity after the inauguration.
Tomorrow, the President will meet with APC National Assembly members-elect.
Yesterday, the President took a concrete step to unite the APC National Assembly members-elect foto arrive at a joint decision on the zoning of the principal offices.
He met with contestants for the post of Speaker who are challenging the party’s choice, Tajudeen Abbas.
Also yesterday, governors of Osun, Oyo, and Rivers joined their other 23 colleagues to drum support for the APC’s preferred candidates for Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, and Deputy Senate President, Barau Jibrin.
Former Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, who said the Southsouth should produce the next Senate President, pointed out that anti-zoning campaigners in APC are laying a stumbling block for Tinubu.
Among the House of Representatives Speaker contenders at the meeting with President Tinubu, which started around 7 pm at the State House are Yusuf Gagdi (Pankshin/Kanke/Constituency); Sada Soli (Jibia /Kaita Constituency); Miriam Onuoha (Okigwe North Constituency); and Muktar Betara (Biu/Bayo/Shani/Kwayar Kusar Constituency).
The President earlier met separately with Deputy Speaker Idris Wase.
The meeting was attended by the APC’s National Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore.
A Senator, who is attending the meeting with the President today, said the parley became necessary to put the house in order before the inauguration.
He said: “The President will be meeting with the APC senators-elect and House of Representatives members-elect tomorrow (today) to make a final appeal. APC governors and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) are expected at the meeting.”
The APC governors, who have repeatedly said they would support the party’s nominees for presiding officer positions are expected to join the president in persuading those challenging party’s position.
The intention is to arrive at a consensus to prevent election on the floor on inauguration day, it was learned last night.
Tinubu pleads with Betara, Wase, and Gagdi to step down for Abbas
President Tinubu pleaded with the aspirants for the Speaker to step down for Abbas.
He said his plea was in the interest of national cohesion and unity.
But the aggrieved aspirants, especially a leading aspirant, Aliyu Betara, promised to consult their supporters and get back to the President through Senator Iyiola Omisore, who led them to the meeting.
It was learned that some of the aspirants may withdraw for Abbas in deference to the President.
Although none of the aspirants spoke with reporters, it was gathered that the President was willing to involve them.
A source said: “The President made a deft move to prevail on those aspiring to be the Speaker to step down for Abbas. He urged them to allow a seamless takeoff of the 10th House of Representatives.
“The session was a follow-up to the interaction he had with Betara on Monday.
“Tinubu brokered a no-winner, no vanquished situation. These aspirants will be accommodated in the power-sharing in the House.
“He has also granted the request of the candidates to consult with their supporters.”
A source said the ruling party is not comfortable with how a contestant for Senate President “has monetized and bastardized the process.”
The source said: “The aspirant has involved traditional rulers in the campaigns. His billboards are all over the place. He is engaged in all manner of propaganda. He is carrying on as if he is contesting a general election.”
The source said the supporters of the aspirant have hired a former Senate President as a consultant in a bid to repeat the 2015 scenario.
Predicting that the plot will fail, the source added: “The aspirant is not a ranking member, and the essence of ranking is that those who have legislative experience in the Senate should be presiding officers.”
Source: The Nation