Some members-elect of the House of Representatives have debunked claims that President Bola Tinubu mentioned the name of any All Progressives Congress’ candidate as Speaker for them to vote for.
The members-elect on Friday stated that the president directed members-elect of the House of Representatives to choose the best among themselves to lead the 10th session of the lower chamber.
In a meeting with all the aspirants on Thursday night, the President had reiterated his commitment to allow democracy to flourish in all arms of government.
The meeting took place at State House Conference Centre, Abuja.
A member-elect at the meeting said although the President reiterated the need to rally around Senator Godswill Akpabio for Senate Presidency to balance the religious bias of the top three executives not being Muslims, he made it clear that members-elect should choose a competent Speaker among themselves.
He said, “The president wants the House to decide its leaders among its members. He is unhappy with some individuals dropping his name to impose a leader on the house.”
Another source who did not want his name in print said lawmakers from the North-West, where the position was zoned to, were unhappy with the desperation of a former Governor from the region, who was hell-bent on imposing one of his stooges on the House.
"The House is an institution with 360 members; members should be allowed to elect one of them. Most especially, Mr. President needs a strong party man capable of overseeing the House. Mr. President cannot afford to have a stooge of a power-drunk politician who is desperate to control the House for their interests," the source alluded.
A faction of the National Working Committee of the ruling APC had, in April, purportedly selected Tajudeen Abass from Kaduna State as the party's choice for the Speakership of the House of Representatives.
Lawmakers-elect had kicked against the selection, claiming that they were not consulted before the decision was reached, and thereby forming a greater majority group of other candidates.
Sources have hinted at Aminu Jaji, a loyal ally of President Tinubu, as the frontrunning candidate in this faction. Alongside him is another contender, Idris Wase.
After Tinubu’s meetings, Jaji is reportedly not dropping out of the race or stepping down for Abass or anyone.
In the House of Representatives, members elected under the platform of the opposition parties put together, outnumbered the ruling party. The opposition parties have a total of 181 while the ruling APC has 179.
The PDP leads the opposition with 116 seats, Labour Party (LP) has 35, NNPP is third with 19 seats, APGA has 5 seats, SDP has two, ADP has two and YPP also has two seats.