President Muhammadu Buhari will today hosts returning and newly elected members of the House of Representatives of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to dinner at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Competent presidency sources confirmed to our correspondent that the dinner will also include members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling party. Another presidency source told New Telegraph that today’s dinner is being considered by the leadership of the APC as an opportunity to also present Femi Gbajabiamila to the President for endorsement as Speaker of the House of Representatives in the Ninth National Assembly. Hon. Mohammed Bago (North-Central) and Hon. Nkeriuka Onyejiocha (South-East) are contenders for the Speaker of the House of Representatives. APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, confirmed the meeting toNew Telegraph, but could not state the agenda of the meeting. On the scheduled meeting, Isa-Onilu said: “Yes, we have a meeting with the President tomorrow (today) with elected members of our party.
But what I cannot confirm is whether the party would announce zoning or adopt Femi Gbajabiamila as the Speaker for the 9th Assembly. The party had sent notice of the meeting to elected members. At the meeting with the President, the NWC is likely to release the full list of the zoning of the principal offices in the 9th Assembly. The party, according to a source, would accommodate all zones, with the Speaker likely going to the South-West.
Already the South-West has the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. The North-Central and the South-East geopolitical zones are also contenders for the post of Speaker, with the North-Central being the closest rival to South-West. Other principal positions of the 9th Assembly that would be occupied and zoned by APC outside Senate President and House Speaker are: Deputy Sen-ate President, Senate Leader, Deputy Senate Leader, Senate Whip, Deputy Senate Whip, Deputy Speaker, Majority House Leader, Deputy Majority Leader, House Whip and Deputy House Whip.
South-East and South- South are the strong contenders for the position of the Deputy Senate President. The contenders are Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu (South-East), Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (South-South) and Senator Francis Alimikhena (South-South). President Buhari had, on 26th March, hosted newly elected Senators of the APC to a similar dinner. At the dinner, the leadership of the APC had presented Lawan to President Buhari as the consensus candidate for the Senate Presidency.