Why we fought Oyegun, Tinubu over Gbajabiamila – APC lawmakers

By Sanni Muhammed July 31, 2015 17:10

Why we fought Oyegun, Tinubu over Gbajabiamila – APC lawmakers

The leadership crisis that rocked the House of Representatives since its inauguration on June 9, 2015 appears to have settled with Yakubu Dogara’s acceptance of Femi Gbajabiamila as Majority Leader coming after the chaos that ensued when the Speaker tried bypassing party directives.

This situation was one the All Progressives Congress, APC, vowed not to accept but later embraced.

Dogara finally yielded the proposal of the APC on principal officers after the Femi Gbajabiamila group had sworn that heavens would fall if he failed to.

See: Gbajabiamila emerges Majority Leader despite Dogara’s efforts

This did not happen without the fifteen minute monologue by President Muhammad Buhari during the resolution meeting.

Before the resolution meeting, the actions of the party were perceived as a systematic imposition of the doctrine of “party supremacy” on an independent institution like the legislature which is expected to provide oversight on the executive arm of Government.

Against this tortuous road in search for peace, Abdulrazak Sa’ad Namdas, Member representing Jada/Ganye/Toungo/Mayo-Belwa Federal Constituency of Adamawa disclosed the reason for their blockade on the party’s leaders saying it was on account of the draconian and military practice of imposing Gbajabiamila on the House.

    “Our leaders were duly consulted, that was why we all agreed.

    “It was initially like a military fashion order, but now they know that we are all part of the decision,” he said.

The APC leadership had on June 23, sent a letter to the Speaker, directing him to endorse Gbajabiamila as the House Leader. This action to some Members was perceived as a gross intrusion and a total disregard for the principle of federal character.

Namdas added that the candidacy of Gbajabiamila was not rejected on the basis of incompetence but rather in the manner the party’s Chairman, John Oyegun had communicated the resolution of the party to the House.

This to him was a far departure from the norms and principles guiding the House of Representatives.

“For all this while, we were not saying that Femi is not competent, but it was the manner in which the list came that we didn’t agree with.

“When the President said the party should consult us and the party did so, we felt that we should resolve the matter and forge ahead.

Prior to this resolution, 174 members of the House who were loyal to Gbajabiamila had staged a protest to the President, asking him to prevail on Dogara to announce the principal officers of the House according to the directive of the party.

See: Gbajabiamila demands for help for Dogara from Buhari

The 174 lawmakers specifically asked the President to prevail on Dogara and the other 39 Members of the party to respect and honor Oyegun’s letter and directives.

Dogara despite the barrage, remained firm and wrote a letter to Oyegun, re-directing him to lay more emphasis on the principle of federal character which had already disqualified Gbajabiamila and further insisted on a list of principal officers that would capture full representation of all zones in the House of Representatives.

See: NASS Crisis: Dogara caucus scores major hit against Gbajabiamila

The President’s meeting with Gbajabiamila and Dogara’s faction could be interpreted to mean his own way of forcing his Party’s marching orders on Dogara culminating in Gbajabiamila imposed as Majority Leader.