The plot by some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members-elect for the 8th House of Representatives for one of them to be paired with Yakubu Dogara as deputy speaker is reportedly causing confusion in the House.
Daily Trust Newspapers reports that some members of the party had on Tuesday, muted the idea of having outgoing Deputy Leader Leo Ogor as deputy to Dogara.
It was gathered that at a retreat organized by the PDP leadership for its members-elect for the 8 Assembly held in Port Harcourt between Monday and Tuesday, some lawmakers of the party held a meeting where they insisted that since they are losing out in the Senate, they should use their numerical strength in the House to have the deputy speaker’s seat.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) became the party with majority after the March 28 presidential and National Assembly polls, which was the first time an opposition party would take over the country and leadership of the federal legislature.
Already, President Muhammadu Buhari had said he has no interest in who becomes either the Senate president or speaker, but that he was ready to work with anybody that eventually emerges.
This, it was gathered, gave the PDP lawmakers a leeway to bargain with either Dogara or Femi Gbajabiamila, who are the two major candidates contesting for the speaker’s seat.
However, Gbajabiamila has already picked Mohammed Tahir Monguno from Borno State to be his deputy, while Dogara had wanted picking an aspirant for the position from Osun State Yussuf Suleiman Lasun, as his deputy. But Lasun had on Tuesday announced his stepping down for Gbajabiamila.
With this development, the PDP lawmakers are making case for Ogor to become Dogara’s deputy as they resolved to give him bloc votes, with their about 130 members-elect, during the inauguration of 8th Assembly next Tuesday.
The PDP lawmakers are also said to be more comfortable with a Dogara candidature than that of Gbajabiamila as they could get more committee chairmanship under him.
But a source told our reporter that those supporting Gbajabiamila among them opposed the idea and told their colleagues to allow them elect their choice, which resulted in serious disagreement among them.
Even as Dogara’s candidature got a boost yesterday with one of the contestants Abdulmumin Jibrin stepping down for him, he is yet to announce the person he is running with as deputy.
Sources told Daily Trust that no member from the South West, where the APC has many members, will agree to be Dogara’s deputy, while the party does not have any ranking member from the South East.
In the South South, there are only two returning members of the APC from Edo State, but one of them, Pally Iriase, who had wanted to contest for the speaker’s seat, has equally stepped down for Gbajabiamila.
It was gathered that the PDP lawmakers are putting all this into consideration in making case for Ogor. It is not clear if Dogara will accept Ogor as his deputy.