Gbajabiamila’s men, Reps power brokers win primaries in APC, PDP
Most of those calling the shots at the House of Representatives have secured tickets of their respective political parties to contest reelection to the federal parliament, Sunday PUNCH reports.
These are ranking members, who have spent no less than three terms in the House, with some of them loyal to the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, emerged as consensus candidates or won primaries in a landslide victory in their constituencies.
The Speaker himself won the ticket of the All Progressives Congress for Surulere 1 Federal Constituency in Lagos State for the 2023 general election without opposition.
Gbajabiamila emerged candidate for the House seat unopposed at the primary held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, on Friday, where he garnered all the votes of the 30 delegates who participated in the exercise.
A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the Speaker on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, said Gbajabiamila, who has been member of the House since 2003, was the only aspirant who obtained forms to contest for the legislative seat for a record sixth time.
Also, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Ahmed Wase, emerged as the APC candidate for the seat of Wase Federal Constituency in Plateau State at the House. He secured all the 59 votes to win the primary held on Friday.
The Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, who is representing Doguwa/Tudun Wada Federal Constituency in Kano State, also got the ticket of the APC unopposed.
Ado-Doguwa, who was a member of the House in the defunct Third Republic and returned to the parliament in the current Fourth Republic, will be seeking reelection for the seventh term. He is arguably the most ranking member of the House and is a speakership aspirant.
In 1992, he was elected to the House where he made history by becoming the first Nigerian to be sworn in as a member immediately after completing his national youth service.
“This is my 7th mandate, to run for the House of Reps unopposed, without any contention,” the lawmaker told our correspondent on Saturday.
Similarly, the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, has secured the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party to seek reelection to the House.
The Deputy Minority Leader, Peter Akpatason, might represent Akoko-Edo Federal Constituency in Edo State for the fourth term after securing the ticket of the APC.
Another prominent member of the Gbajabiamila camp is James Faleke who is Chairman of the House Committee on Finance. He
Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, Aliyu Betara, also emerged the consensus candidate of the APC for Biu/Bayo/Kwaya/Kusar/Shani Federal Constituency in Borno State.
Betara, whose Nomination and Declaration of Interest Forms were procured by APC leaders and members in his constituency for N10m, and has been tipped by his constituents to be the next Speaker of the House, is coming back for the fifth term unopposed.
There is also Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo of the Akoko North-East/Akoko North-West Federal Constituency in Ondo State, who won his second term ticket with all the available 115 votes in the APC.
Another Gbajabiamila’s loyalist is Babajimi Benson, who is representing Ikorodu Federal Constituency and has secured his third term ticket under the APC.
On the list is Oluwole Oke of the Peoples Democratic Party representing Obokun/Oriade Federal Constituency in Osun State, who won the primary to secure ticket for his fourth term. He is the Chairman of the constitutional House Committee on Public Accounts.
Chairman of the Committee on House Services, Olawale Raji, may also secure a fourth term after securing the ticket of the APC in Epe Federal Constituency in Lagos State.
Another ranking member of the House, Nassir Ali Ahmed, who is representing Nasarawa Federal Constituency in Kano State, won the primary to clinch the ticket of the APC.
Ahmed, who is Chairman of the House Committee on Public Procurement, is seeking reelection for a fourth term.
There are also first-timers like Leke Abejide (ADC), representing Yagba-East/Yagba-West/Mopamuro Federal Constituency in Kogi State and Chairman of the House Committee on Customs and Excise; and Yusuf Gagdi (APC) of Pankshin/Kanam/Kanke Federal Constituency in Plateau State and Chairman, House Committee on Navy, who are believed to be loyal to Gbajabiamila’s leadership.
Meanwhile, Gbajabiamila’s only opponent in the speakership election held in 2019, Umar Bago, of the Chanchagi Federal Constituency in Niger State, won the governorship ticket of the APC.
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