Dep Leader: Intense Lobby As Reps Jostle For Buba Jibril’s Seat

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Members of the House of Representatives from Kwara and Kogi states are fiercely engaged in intense lobby for the position of deputy majority leader of the House, which is zoned to the north central geo-political zone.
Leadership Sunday recalls that the position of deputy majority leader became vacant following the death of Hon Umar Buba Jibrin, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Kogi State.
It was learnt that a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Kogi State is also lobbying for the position, which is an exclusive preserve of the majority political party in the House.
A principal officer who confided in our correspondent confirmed that the Kogi lawmaker, who chairs a very sensitive committee in the House, approached the Speaker about his interest and offered to defect to the ruling APC to clinch the position.
“The PDP lawmaker from Kogi State seriously lobbied to become the deputy leader due to his closeness to the Speaker. He offered to defect to the ruling party to get the position, but the Speaker declined on the grounds that APC members from the zone will feel short-changed,” he said.
Checks by Leadership Sunday revealed that barely one week after Buba Jibrin’s death, lawmakers from his home state and neighbouring Kwara State locked horns over his position.
Although almost all the ranking APC members from the north central showed interest, it was those from Kogi and Kwara states that were in the forefront to replace the late Jibrin.
Other members who lobbied for the position include Hon Bago Mohammed Umaru (Chanchaga, Niger State), Hon Yusuf Tijani (Okene/Ogori-Magogo, Kogi State), and Hon Zaphaniah Jisalo (AMAC/ Bwari , FCT).
The duo of Jisalo and Tijani had recently defected from the PDP to APC and announced their defection on the floor of the House the same day.
Also, Hon Aliyu Ahman-Pategi (Edu/Moro/Pategi, Kwara) and his counterpart from Wase, Plateau State, Hon Idris Ahmed, lobbied for the position and were both favoured by the power brokers in the House.
Although, media aides to the Speaker denied knowledge of the development, a source within the Speaker’s office confirmed the development, but said Dogara was not in a hurry to announce Jibrin’s replacement.
The source disclosed that Dogara favoured Hon Ahmed from Plateau, who is the chairman of the House Committee on Federal Character, and Hon Pategi from Kwara State.
According to the source, the leadership of the House seem likely to settle for Ahmed over Pategi because more principal officers favour his state for the position.
“I can confirm to you that the leadership of the House has settled for Hon. Idris Ahmed. Although, Hon Pategi was considered till the last minute, he was later dropped because he is from the same state with the Senate president.”
He further disclosed that the Speaker had informed Hon Ahmed about the development and directed him to prepare his handover note as the committee chairman within three weeks.

“The Speaker has informed Hon Idris Ahmed to prepare his handover note in readiness for the new position,” the source added.

Credit: Leadership

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