Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, is set to name the four principal officers of the House as the Green Chamber resumes plenary today after one month’s break.
The principal officers are: House Leader, Deputy House Leader, Majority Whip and Deputy Whip.
Since its inauguration on June 9, the lower chamber has been in a crisis situation over the sharing of the principal offices.
Despite all interventions and mediations made so far, the pro-Dogara group and the Femi Gbajabiala loyalists have refused to shift ground.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that fight broke out on the floor of the House on June 25 over the Speaker’s refusal to read the letter of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun on who should occupy what position.
In his letter to the Speaker, dated June 23, Odigie-Oyegun had proposed that the House Leader should come from the South-West; Deputy House Leader from the North-West; Chief Whip from the North-East and Deputy Whip from the South-South.
But the North-East and South-South later swapped the positions in what many described as a “marriage of convenience.”
In his reply to Odigie-Oyegun’s letter on July 16, Dogara instead zoned the House Leader to the North-West geo-political zone and picked Hon. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa (APC, Kano) to occupy the position.
He explained that the North-West zone currently has 86 APC lawmakers.
He also zoned the post of the Deputy House Leader to the North-Central with 33 members; Chief Whip to the South-South, while the Deputy Whip was zoned to the South-East.
He noted that it would not be fair to give the same zone the position of the House leader while some zones had nothing.
Dogara pointed out that he could not take action on Odigie-Oyegun’s letter immediately or reply him because he was constrained by a court process served on him by some lawmakers from the North-Central and other interested parties.
While some of the strong mobilisers of the loyalists group and pro-Dogara group on Saturday assured Nigerians that the crisis in the House was over, the pro-Gbajabiamila group, however, insisted that the crisis was far from over.
The Gbajabiamila group maintained that the Speaker must respect the position of the party on the matter.
Spokesman of the group, Hon Nasir Zango-Daura, accused Dogara of conniving with the PDP lawmakers to go against the collective wish of the party in respect to the principal officers.
He further alleged that there were plans to prevent its members’ entrance into the National Assembly premises today and warned that such attempt would be resisted.
Our correspondent reliably gathered that part of the plan Buhari decided to meet with the APC caucus in the House ahead of today’s resumption was to prevail on them to sheath their sword in the interest of peace.
On what Nigerians should expect ahead of today’s resumption, the lawmaker representing Ivo/Ohaozara/Onicha Federal Constituency of Ebonyi State, Hon Linus Okorie, told Nigerian Pilot that the Speaker would go ahead to name the principal officers.
He explained that they had wasted enough time over who should get what, adding that it was time they moved forward.
All attempts to get the reactions of the House Ad hoc Committee Chairman on Media and Public Affairs, Hon Sani Zorro, on the alleged disruption of House proceedings should the Speaker go ahead to name the principal officers were not successful.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yusuf Lasun, has again reiterated that he would not resign his position despite mounting pressure in some quarters.
The deputy speaker had come under immense pressure to resign his position by the APC leaders from the South-West so as to pave way for Hon Gbajabiamila, who is seen as a more popular and formidable candidate.
He disclosed this yesterday ahead of a scheduled meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC lawmakers to further discuss peaceful options to end the leadership tussle.

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