Speakership Battle: ‘I have prophecy to become Speaker’ – Tinubu’s last-minute push fails to sway Wase


Four days before the election of the presiding officers of the National Assembly, the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and President Bola Tinubu are facing the prospect of the repeat 2015 scenario.

Efforts to get other aspirants in the race to step down for the endorsed candidates— Godswill Akpabio, Jubrin Barau, Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu has been futile.

In the House, Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase has refused to back down from the race, and during the valedictory session, he informed his colleagues that their prophetic pronouncement on his aspiration.

“I want to appreciate my political leaders among whom (was) Solomon Lar. When I was contesting in 2007, I went to him and he prophesied the number of (times) I’ll come to this assembly,” he said.

“And he prophesied that the next time when I return I’ll be the speaker. Insha Allah, I’ll be the speaker of this chamber,” Wase had said.

Former Governor Abdulaziz Yari has been gaining momentum among the senators, and there are speculations that he may reach an agreement with Orji Uzor Kalu to run a joint ticket.

Kalu recently confirmed that there is indeed an ongoing conversation between him and Yari on the race.

Four days ago, Yari was in Daura, where he paid homage to former President Muhammadu Buhari.

He was at Daura alongside 22 other senators-elect. And he has consistently argued against the zoning formula announced by the party.

Can they pull an upset?

President Tinubu has refused to publicly compel the lawmakers to do his bidding, rather he has embarked on persuading the lawmakers-elect to see reasons with him.

On Wednesday, he held a meeting with members-elect but he did not ask them to vote for any individual in particular. Also, he met with the G7 lawmakers in the House, but Wase did not attend the meeting.

Similarly, during a meeting with the traditional rulers, President Tinubu told the monarchs that he is ready to work with anyone that emerges from the election on Tuesday.

This mixed signals from the president is causing concerns within the camp of the Joint Task, the group spearheading the campaign of Abbas.

However, with the meetings, it appears Mr Tinubu has been able to use the tactics to sway a number of lawmakers.

Amobi Ogah, a Labour Party member-elect, who attended the meeting was full of praises for Tinubu, declaring the day as the “best day of my life”.

In the past weeks, the momentum appears to be back to Abbas and Kalu as other aspirants have been quiet except Wase.

Current Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila seems not ready to take any chances, which explains his reason to stay till the election on Tuesday before taking his appointment as Chief of Staff.

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