Gbajabiamila’s Loyalists Dump Him, Accept Dogara’s

Some House of Representatives members loyal to Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, under the aegis of “Loyalists Group” have ditched the former minority leader and accepted the offer of Speaker, Yakubu Dogara to be principal officers in the lower chamber.
The group reached an understanding with members of the Consolidation Group loyal to Dogara in a political arrangement that is similar to what happened at the senate, when some senators loyal to Senator Lawan accepted to be principal officers under Senator Bukola Saraki’s senate presidency.
The members; Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, Hon. Pally Iriase, and Hon. Mohammed Monguno said they had to accept Dogara’s offer to according to them, “aid the smooth take-off of the legislative functions of the lower chamber in the overall interest of the country.”
In a press conference in Abuja yesterday, anchored by the leader of the Dogara’s group, Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumin, which was attended by the trio of Doguwa, Iriase and Monguno, the members resolved to bury the hatchet and move on with their legislative duties.
But a member of the Gbajabiamila’s group, Hon. Nasiru Zangon-Daura, has denied any understanding with the Dogara’s group, saying the members of their group who accepted to be principal officers under Dogara are acting on their own.
“The APC Loyalists Group hereby deny and unequivocally reject any purported endorsement of a so-called formula on the APC leadership in the House of Representatives. Any member of our group who claims to be part of this arrangement acts on his own and not on behalf of the group,” Zangon-Daura said in a brief statement made available to Thisday.
At the press conference, Abdulmumin said, “Mr Speaker’s argument has always been since the North-east and South-west have produced the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, the remaining principal positions should go to the North- west, North-central, South-south and South-east in the spirit of equity, fairness, justice, a strong precedence and provision of the constitution. In the interest of peace, unity and harmony in the House, Speaker Dogara reached out extensively to individuals and groups and committed lot of energy and time toward finding an amicable solution to the nagging issue. “Intense consultations carried out by Speaker Dogara is what eventually led to the birth of the Dogara formula that saw the emergence of what is now known as the Equity Team. In line with the formula, the Equity Team has Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa (APC Kano, North-west) as House Leader, Hon Buba
Jibrin (APC Kogi, North-central) as Deputy Leader, Hon Pally Iriase (APC Edo, South-south) as Chief Whip, and Hon. Chika Okafor (APC Imo, South-east) as Deputy Chief Whip.
“Interestingly, both the Speaker and a great majority of the APC caucus in the House, including gladiators in the Gbajabiamila’s group like Hon Monguno, Hon Doguwa, and Hon Pally, support and stand by the Equity Team. We have commenced collection of signatures which has reached advanced stage to affirm the Dogara formula. All other interests, including those excluded from the principal offices, specifically Hon. Gbajabiamila and Hon Monguno, will be duly accommodated with commensurate responsibility to serve. Since the
Speaker has about 200 positions to share out, many members will have the opportunity to serve the country.
Speaking at the press conference, Hon. Iriase praised Dogara’s for ensuring inclusiveness and equity in the distribution of the principal positions.
“Mr. Speaker is mandated to ensure that Section 14 (3), which deals with Federal Character, is abided by in the composition of that arm of government. I would urge those who are not very conversant with this matter to look at Section 13, which mandates the heads of the three arms of government to ensure preservation and adherence to the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state affairs in Nigeria.
“We urge all those who may have wished that this crisis ought to be resolved in a different way to think Nigeria first, and embrace peace for the sake of having a respectable and enduring institution of the legislature in Nigeria. The three of us from the Loyalists Group, who have been noted as being key members, have stepped forward on behalf of our teeming majority to accept the position as indicated in the Speaker’s letter. We remain very committed members of that group; we feel this is a fair arrangement to resolve the
crisis,” Iriase said.
On his part, Hon. Monguno said, “The reasoning behind the party nominating us to serve in the various principal positions of the House is to take care of the interest of the Loyalists Group. But right now, Hon. Doguwa and Hon. Pally Iriase are still members of the Loyalists Group, and I think they are capable and well positioned to take care of the interest of the Loyalists Group in the affairs of the House, as enunciated by the party. Also in the interest of
fairness, to reflect the diversity of Nigeria, to take care of the various geopolitical zones, I decided to follow suit on the Dogara formula.”

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