Intense Competition among Lawmakers for Principal Offices in the 10th House of Representatives

After the election and inauguration of Honourable Tajudeen Abbas as the Speaker and Honourable Benjamin Kalu as the Deputy Speaker of the 10th House of Representatives, the focus now shifts to the election of members into the principal offices of the House. These positions include the Majority (House) Leader, Deputy Leader, Chief Whip, Deputy Whip, Minority Leader, Deputy Minority Leader, Minority Whip, and Deputy Minority Whip.

A significant battle is underway among elected members from the North East, North Central, and South South zones for the position of House Leader, which is the third-ranking position in the legislative House. The House Leader often represents the party that holds the majority in the House and wields power at the federal level.

Despite the fact that the All Progressives Congress (APC) controls a majority of the House with over 160 members, the party has yet to choose its preferred candidate for the House Leader position. Elected members from the aforementioned zones are reportedly engaged in a struggle for control of the leadership positions in the House.

Abdullahi Adamu, the APC’s national chairman, stated that the party will soon decide on who will occupy the crucial seats in the National Assembly (NASS). He expressed confidence that the party will quickly reach a consensus and seek the President’s approval before making the decision public.

However, a senior party official, speaking anonymously to Leadership Newspaper, revealed that the APC has not finalized its decision regarding the candidates for the principal offices. The source stated that the zoning of National Assembly presiding officers has generated opposition, and the ruling party is engaged in intense negotiations to prevent a resurgence of the opposition.

The South West, which does not currently hold a presiding officer position in the House, is reportedly not enthusiastic about obtaining the House Leader position, as the Senate Leader position is likely to come from the region that produced the President.

The contest for the North-East House Leader position is between Usman Bello Kumo (Gombe) and Muktar Betara (Borno). Kumo, the co-chairman of the Joint Task Force in the 10th Assembly, supported the Abbas/Kalu joint ticket during the campaign, while Betara, a former front-runner for the Speakership, withdrew at the last minute.

In the North Central, Yusuf Adamu Gagdi of Plateau and Abdulraheem Olawuyi of Kwara, who previously vied for the Speakership, are competing for the House Leader position.

Betara, who was Abbas’ main challenger before withdrawing, reportedly opted to retain his position as the head of the Appropriations Committee from the previous set.

The source further explained that while Betara was considering the House Leader position, Kumo, as the leader of the group that supported Abbas, is also indicating interest, creating a contest between lawmakers from Borno and Gombe.

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