It is now less than 2 weeks to the inauguration of the Tinubu/Shettima administration, and as expected, politicians with access to the incoming President and Vice President have since begun positioning themselves for the purpose of power aggregation and influence that would ensure they become the new presidential cabal whom everyone submits to.
Silently this tussle for positioning has been ongoing, with members of the public feeling a snippet, however as the days draw closer, clearer picture is been obtained. A select few are beginning to put their influence to play on major decisions, especially as regards the leadership of the yet to be inaugurated 10th National Assembly.
From the North to the South, former & current Governors, Lawmakers, Ministers and other stakeholders across various divides have been aggressively positioning themselves. Some had since abandoned their current assignments, and have made themselves available to the incoming President and Vice President, lobbying for personal positions, while also doing same for their allies.
Interestingly, the outgoing Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila is one figure who has been visibly ahead of the pack in this race to become the most powerful man in the coming administration after the President and Vice-President. From the day the electoral victory of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima was pronounced, he has made himself available to the President-Elect, ensuring he accompanies him everywhere.
From Lagos, to Abuja to Europe, the outgoing Speaker has become a constant appearance around Tinubu, with many reports stating that he is already playing the role of Chief of Staff. In addition, asides his lobbying to hold such powerful position in the incoming government, he has also obviously to the disagreement of majority reps-elect, anointed Tajudeen Abbas as his successor, and moving forces to ensure his adoption remains.
Idris Wase, Aliyu Betara, Aminu Jaji, Miriam Onuoha, Yusuf Gagdi amongst other aspirants have continued to vehemently stand against Tajudeen’s imposition, declaring the process undemocratic of a party that prides itself as progressives. The other aspirants have since formed a coalition against the appointment of Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu to lead the 10th Assembly of the House of Representatives, which they all say is the direct nomination of the outgoing Speaker and not a representation of the majority interest.
Questions continue to arise on why Tajudeen Abbas is being foisted on the reps-elect by Gbajabiamila, with several reports noting that the outgoing Speaker is moving heaven and earth to actualize Tajudeen’s speakership so as to protect his own interests. Is it that the outgoing speaker has abused the privilege of his office which he doesn’t want Nigerians to be privy of? Is it that he has taken steps that jeopardizes the interest of Nigerians, that he needs covered up?
Reports keeps emanating that Gbajabiamila may have initiated humongous profitable deals in the National Assembly for himself, which he will continue to benefit from in the years to come so far he installs his own successor, and this is the reason many believe he has taken a do or die stance on Tajudeen’s Speakership. One of such is the #5billion National Assembly Library project, which though initiated in the 9th Assembly, will be actualized in the 10th Assembly.
Many also continue to wonder if Gbajabiamila’s continuous meddling in the incoming House of Representatives leadership set up won’t cause destabilization of the incoming government, more so, if his aso villa power chase won’t spell doom for Tinubu’s administration.
In all, the race continues on this aso villa power tussle, and we certainly haven’t seen the last of this drama on who becomes the next speaker of the House of Representatives.