APC proposes Gbajabiamila as deputy speaker

After meeting and hours of negotiations on Monday night, the All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders have proposed that Femi Gbajabiamila should become the deputy speaker.

According to a source, the proposal implies the deputy speaker Yussuf Lasun will have to voluntarily step down since he can only be removed by two-thirds majority of the House, and that is not presntly not on the cards.

Lasun earlier vowed not to step down as deputy speaker and the issue remained unresolved even after the meeting ended in the early hours of Tuesday ahead of house resumption.

If the proposals are accepted, Gbajabiamila will become deputy speaker and will be allowed to nominate chairpersons for 60 per cent of the ‘Grade A’ committees, including finance.

The speaker Yakubu Dogara will nominate the principal officers; majority leader, deputy majority leader, chief whip and deputy chief whip. He will also nominate chairpersons for three ‘Grade A’ committees appropriation, customs and public petitions.

“Grade A’ committees are the most coveted in the House because of the influence and the financial clout. The only stumbling block now to the resolution of the crisis is Lasun, who has said he will not resign to allow Femi to become deputy speaker,” the source said.

He hinted that if Lasun does not resign, Gbajabiamila may end up not occupying any position in the house adding that Gbajabiamila, having been minority leader for four years, can only be majority leader or deputy speaker.

“You cannot reasonably expect Femi to be chairman of any committee, so he may just take the back seat if the deputy speakership does not work out.”

“Dogara wants to pick the principal officers himself and the party is not opposed to that. He will be working with the principal officers. If the principal officers are not in your camp, then you are a figurehead speaker and you cannot claim to be in control of house business.”

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