Politics

Gbajabiamila compensates 15 Speaker-aspirants with committee chairmanship

Most of the speakership aspirants in the Ninth House of Representatives have been made either principal officers or chairmen of standing committees , HEADLINE NEWS 365 has observed.
Some of them were appointed into special committees .

About 20 members of the House had nursed the ambition to become speaker, most of whom eventually stepped down for the then majority leader, Femi Gbajabiamila , who is now the Speaker.

Fifteen of them have been given various appointments under the new leadership .
The presiding officers of the House emerged on June 11 when the National Assembly was inaugurated.

Gbajabiamila was elected Speaker while Idris Wase , who was the deputy majority leader in the Eighth House , emerged the deputy speaker.
The PUNCH learnt that no fewer than 15 of those who were in the speakership race benefited from the appointments .

Speakership aspirants , who are now part of the leadership of the House , include Idris Wase , the deputy speaker, and Alhassan Ado -Doguwa the majority leader.

The caucus also named Mohammed Monguno ( APC , Borno ) as the chief whip and Nkeiruka Onyejeocha ( APC , Abia ) as deputy majority whip .

Those who got committee appointments include Mohammed Bago , who was the only aspirant that contested against Gbajabimila but lost by 76 to 281 votes .

He is now chairman , Committee on Co -Operation and Integration in Africa .

John Dyegh , who stepped down for Gbajabiamila on the eve of the speakership election , emerged as chairman , House Committee on Human Rights .

Other speakership aspirants appointed chairmen of committees are Muktar Betara ( Borno ) , Committee on Appropriations ; Khadijat Bukar -Ibrahim ( Yobe ) , Committee on North -East Development Commission ; Abdulrazak Namdas ( Adamawa) , Committee on Army ; Aminu Suleiman ( Kano ) , Tertiary Education ; Babangida Ibrahim ( Kano ) , Committee on Capital Market and Institutions ; Olusegun Odebunmi ( Oyo ) , Committee on Information , National Orientation , Ethics and Values; and Gudaji Kazaure ( Jigawa) , Committee on Political Parties Matters .

Also on the list are Yakub Buba ( Adamawa) , Committee on Foreign Affairs; Abubakar Lado ( Niger ) , Committee on Information and Communication Technology.

Our correspondent, however , learnt that aspirants such as Abdulrahman Sumaila ( Kano ) and Olajide Olatunbosun ( Oyo) were missing on the appointment list .

Speaking with our correspondent, the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Benjamin Kalu , noted that the House created more committees to accommodate more members in leadership positions, including speakership aspirants .

Kalu said, “ There are 109 standing committees in the House and 360 members . Because it is impossible for every one of 360 members to get chairmanship of a committee, the position of deputy was also factored in to compensate some legislators. In fact , many members opted out of chairmanship positions to accept deputy chairmanship of certain committees overseeing major ministries , reason being that the deputy chairman of certain committees is stronger than the chairman .

“ It is also incorrect to suggest that speakership aspirants did not get any appointment or leadership positions in this House . Hon . Bago is chairman of House Committee on Co- operation and Integration in Africa. Hon . Onyejiocha is a principal officer . Hon . Buba is chairman of House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Hon . Betara is chairman of Appropriations Committee .”

For chairmanship of committees , the ruling and majority All Progressives Congress got 80 ; Peoples Democratic Party, 21 ; All Progressives Grand Alliance , 2 ; Allied Peoples Movement , 1 ; and Action Alliance , 1 .

For the 104 vice -chairmanship positions, APC got 63 ; PDP , 30 ; APGA , 3 ; ADC , 3 ; PRP , 2; SDP , 1 ; ADP , 1 ; and AA , 1 .

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