APC Rancour in party over Gbajabiamila's House of Reps Speakership endorsement

There was rancour among the elected lawmakers, with the supporters of Hon. Yakubu Dogara claiming total ignorance of the voting process.

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Femi Gbajabiamila being congratulated by APC leaders on Saturday, June 6, 2015. play

Femi Gbajabiamila being congratulated by APC leaders on Saturday, June 6, 2015.

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Following the endorsement Femi Gbajabiamila by the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the party's consensus candidate for the office of Speaker in the House of Reps., his main challenger, Yakubu Dogara has faulted the election process, describing it as "illegal."

The party's National Secretary, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni, had on Saturday, June 5, announced Gbajabiamila, who was the Minority Leader in the Seventh House, represents Surulere Federal Constituency 1 of Lagos State, as the party's candidate for the Speakership run.

Mohammed Monguno, from Borno state, also emerged as the party's sole candidate for the post of Deputy Speaker.

Speaking after the election, the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, urged Gbajabimila to run an all-inclusive House by reaching out to his colleagues who were aggrieved with the process.

There was rancour among the elected lawmakers, with the supporters of Hon. Yakubu Dogara claiming total ignorance of the voting process.

Speaking to journalists on behalf of the Dogara camp after the walk-out, Hon. Jubril Abdulmumin said they were not prepared for a primary election, and it should therefore be cancelled.

He termed the election process "illegal’’, adding that Dogara's was still in the race for the position of Speaker as there were 360 lawmakers-elect from all parties.

Abdulmumin and 160 lawmakers alone could chose the Speaker.

He also said the entire process was an ''ambush’’, manipulative and indicative of the fact that the party leadership came with a predetermined position which was skewed to favour Gbajabiamila.

The legislator said the party had acted contrary to the provisions of the party’s constitution.

"It did not prescribe that a primary election be conducted for the Speakership, contrary to the provisions of the House Standing Orders."

He said it was at the point where the APC National Vice-Chairman North, Senator Lawal Shuaibu insisted the process must go on that Dogara's supporters made their feelings known.

"At this point, we had no option than to stage a walk out of the hall and address newsmen,’’ Abdulmumin said.

Reacting to the development, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the party had to make a move.

"We cannot begin the Eighth Assembly with two candidates, hence the party adopted the election process for the lawmakers.

''It is for the National Assembly members-elect to pick their choice candidate, and whoever emerges automatically becomes the party's candidate.''

He however warned that disciplinary action awaited any legislator who goes against the party's decision.

Mohammed also disclosed that the APC legislators were made to sign an undertaking to abide by the outcome of the primary election to select the party's consensus candidate.