Gbajabiamila scales major hurdles on selection of Ad-hoc Committee members
To unveil six principal officers, chairmen of Standing Committees soon
There are strong indications that the leadership of the House of Representatives may experience some level of stability in steering the affairs of the National Assembly with the choice of members of various Ad-hoc Committees set up so far, Tribune Online investigation has revealed.
The three Ad-hoc Committees already set up in the House by the Speaker, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila are Selection Committee, Media Committee and Welfare Committee.
While Hon Gbajabiamila chairs the Ad-hoc Committee on Selection, he appointed Hon. Wale Raji (APC-Lagos) as chairman, Ad-hoc Committee on Welfare and Hon. Khadijat Bukar Abba-Ibrahim (APC-Yobe) as chairperson, Ad-hoc Committee on Media.
The Selection Committee was saddled with the responsibility of appointing chairmen and members of various Standing Committees of the House.
Speaking during the inauguration held in his conference room, Hon Gbajabiamila beckoned on all the members who are interested in any specific committees to submit their Curriculum Vitae for necessary consideration.
Meanwhile, names of the ranking members appointed as principal officers for the party in the majority are expected to be made public soon.
As at the time of filing this report, no headway has been made sequel to subtle agitation among ranking members who threw their weights behind Gbajabiamila’s candidacy against his arch-rival, Hon. Mohammed Bago (APC-Niger).
Sequel to the emergence of Hon. Kingsley Chinda (PDP-Rivers) as the Minority Leader in the 9th session of the House of Representatives, the opposition parties are expected to make public the list of lawmakers for the positions of Minority Whip, Deputy Minority Leader and Deputy Minority Whip on resumption at plenary on 2nd July 2019.
The list which would be announced at plenary is expected to be transmitted to the Speaker.
It was gathered that some of the ranking PDP lawmakers who expressed interest in the Minority Leader’s position lost out to Hon. Chinda.
Further investigation revealed that Hon. Muraina Ajibola (PDP-Oyo) who was also nominated as Minority Leader at a meeting held in Abuja was floored, despite arguments that some of the PDP members in the state fought earnestly to install a PDP Governor in Oyo State and having the only PDP Governor across South West geopolitical zone.
Hon Ajibola had during the 7th Assembly expressed interest in vying for Speaker of the House but stepped down at the last minute for Hon. Aminu Tambuwal who eventually emerged as the Speaker. He was thereafter appointed chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream).
Quite a number of members of the opposition parties who spoke with our correspondents affirmed that the choice of members of the Selection Committees was made by various party caucuses.
While responding to Tribune Online inquiry on members of the ad-hoc Committee on Selection, Hon. Bamidele Salam, member of the Ad-hoc Committee on Media disclosed that: “the selection committee has one member per state. The Speaker is the chairman while Deputy Speaker is the Vice Chairman. So the total number should be 38. I don’t have the exact number of all parties in the House at the moment.”
Speaking exclusively with Tribune Online, Hon. Ossai Nicholas OssaI (PDP-Delta) affirmed that the lead opposition party and every state of the Federation were given adequate representation in all the Ad-hoc Committees inaugurated to ensure the smooth take-off of the 9th Assembly.
He expressed optimism that the choice of the members of the Selection Committee was fair, based on capacity demonstrated by the various member and devoid of sentiment and party affiliation.
According to him, “the PDP has 16 states and in those 16 states, you see the majority of them represented in that Selection Committee so you can see that the caucus of each state nominates members of the Selection Committee.
“So it depends on your strength in different states. I believe the one coming from my state (Delta) is a PDP man, one of the longest-serving legislators in Nigeria today, Hon. Nicholas Mutu with the belief that he’s experienced and will add value to the effect of making more committee members and chairmen from my state and we elected him to be there.
“Likewise, other states have elected their own to be there. You can see even in the APC states they elected PDP to be members of the Selection Committee.
“So it depends on how your members value you, that’s when you will be nominated. So it’s not an issue of APC, PDP, APGA or SDP. It’s an issue of you coming to the National Assembly to show your capacity and with the show of capacity you will be elected into a very important position of authority,” he stressed.
Speaking on the development, a member of the Selection Committee, Hon Yemi Adaramodu (APC-Ekiti) declared the composition of the Committee reflected the principle of Federal Character without preference for any political party which he said would make the 9th NASS a unique one in the annals of Nigeria legislation.
According to Hon Adaramodu, “the work of the Committee is fast progressing, we are working round the clock to get the final list ready because we want to hit the ground running immediately.”