Ninth Assembly: Senators, Reps plot against Tinubu’s takeover of NASS

...Lawmakers flag off zonal consultations despite adoption of Lawan, Gbajabiamila

Lawmakers elected into the forthcoming Ninth National Assembly are working to forestall a complete takeover of the forthcoming Ninth National Assembly by the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress(APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Sources close to the lawmakers elected into the Senate and the House of Representatives confided in the Nigerian Tribune that the lawmakers are already sending emissaries to the Presidential Villa to warn President Muhammadu Buhari of the likely implications of handing over the National Assembly to the leader of the party.

The lawmakers, according to sources, have in the wake of Monday’s adoption of Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan and the House of Representatives Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila been holding series to meetings to dissect the situation.

While Tinubu joined the train of Lawan’s campaigners ahead of the inauguration of the 8th Senate in 2015, he was seen as the main promoter of Gbajabiamila’s ambition.

The former Governor of Lagos state is yet to comment on Lawan’s ambition this time, with the Senate Leader moving to run an independent campaign even before the adoption by the APC, the fact that Gbajabiamila hails from Lagos state makes him an integral part of the Tinubu project.

A team of lawmakers, who cut across the Senate and the House established that Muhammadu Buhari has been warned against handing over the National Assembly to the National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Sources said that a cross section of Senators and members-elect, said to cut across the geopolitical zones were said to have sent words to the Villa, midweek to warn the President of the fear of handing over the parliament to Tinubu.

A Senator elect who preferred not to be named said: “A number of us are worried about the structure of the party and the emerging parliament. Already, Tinubu has produced the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, he produced the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. If he is handed the parliament, what would be left for others who also assisted the party?”

He added that while Tinubu is trying to own Lawan, Gbajabiamila is strictly his project with a huge Lagos colouration. The thinking is that apart from Tinubu, other contributors to the victory of the party should also be rewarded.

The lawmaker said that a number of his colleagues are keeping quiet because of their respect for President Buhari, whom he said did not utter a word either in support or rejection of Oshiomhole’s endorsements.

Sources also said that a Tinubu takeover of any arm of the parliament in 2019 would only help him lay a solid foundation for his 2023 presidential ambition.

“There is the belief that Tinubu is only warming up for the 2019 contest. Some of our colleagues observed that the Colloquium, which used to hold in Lagos has in recent times been brought to Abuja. The idea is that having conquered Lagos, it’s time to conquer Nigeria. But the reward system in the APC should be made to go round,” the lawmaker said.

The development about Tinubu is coming on the heels of indications that some Senators and members of the House of Representatives who are eyeing presiding officer positions have commenced zonal consultations.

It was gathered that besides Lawan, two other contenders in the North East have equally flagged off consultations with critical stakeholders in the zones, just as the sole aspirant from the North Central.

Aside the incumbent Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, other Senate President hopefuls include his predecessor in the office, Senator Ali Ndume and the Chairman of Appropriations Committee, Senator Danjuma Goje all from North East. Senator Adamu Abdullahi from North Central completes the list of aspirants to the nation’s number three office.

There are no fewer than 14 re-elected members of the House of Representatives who have flagged off campaigns for the nation’s number four office.

It was learnt that at least three of them who might later settle for the post of Deputy Speaker are from the North West.