Campaign organisation for the Hon Femi Gbajabiamil’s speakership bid has disclosed that it has already mustered “a comfortable number” to elect the Lagos lawmaker as presiding officer of the ninth House of Representatives, come June 10, 2019.
Director General of the organistaion, Hon Abdulmumin Jibril, who made the disclosure Tuesday, said “based on several options we have applied, there are verifiable evidence that we have a comfortable number. Members have confirmed to us who they wanted to vote for. We have a reasonable number, even from the opposition”.
On the possibility of a godfather having a negative impact on the fortunes of Gbajabiamila, especially in view of recent remarks credited to Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, Jibril said his candidate “is El-Rufai’s project” which he wanted to see succeed in line with APC’s desire.
He said the campaign organisation is making a lot of consultations, even with the incumbent Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, who he said still wield a lot of influence in the House.
“As part of our strategies, we are opening consultations with past presiding officers. We are seeking advice from them. We are also in consultation with the incumbent Speaker, we are lobbying him because he has a support base, and the body of principal officers, we are also consulting with them”, he said.
On others who are in the race, Jibril conceded that their arguments, which are anchored on the need for equity, fairness, gender balance and many more, were not out of place.
“In their arguments’ they are perfect, but it make more sense when you take a superior argument. We look forward to working with them. Before the 10th of June, we are going to reach an agreement with them.
“It is our hope that on the 10th of June, no APC member will be contesting with another member of the party, it is not by force but though negotiation”, he said.
He assured that with Gbajabiamila as speaker, “we will run an all-inclusive house”, adding that the team would ensure that Gbajabiamila would be elected speaker, and Idris Wase as his deputy.”
He also dismissed the sentiment of a Muslim/Muslim combination, as their concern was more on having all geo-political zones represented in the leadership of the house.
So far, John Dyegh (Benue), Muhammed Umar Bago (Niger), Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (Abia) are some of the high ranking contenders for the post of speakership, presently being held by Speaker Yakubu Dogara.