Sunday, 5 June 2011

News Report: Nigeria's 7th Lower Parliament In Squabbles Ahead Of Inauguration Tomorrow

The 7th session of Nigeria's lower parliament, the House of Representatives, is presently in squabbles ahead of its inauguration tomorrow.

chidi opara reports' network members in Abuja, who have been keeping closer watch on the lower parliament report that the squabbles may mar the smooth take off of the 7th session.

The main squabble is between factions within the ruling Peoples DemocraticParty(PDP), which has majority in both the lower and upper parliaments and is expected to produce the Speaker and other principal officers, with the exception of the Minority Leader.

Our investigation revealed that the  speakership ambitions of Mrs. Mulikat Adeola-Akande and Mr. Muraina Ajibola have polarized the party into two factions. Ajibola's faction has its loyality to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who is currently the party's Board of Trustees Chairman, while Akande's faction is reported to be loyal to the Presidency.

Muraina Ajibola's candidature had been endorsed by the national leadership of PDP on the prompting of Obasanjo, but in a last minute volte-face, the party withdrew its endorsement and pitched tent with the Akande faction on the insistence of the Presidency.

At the time of preparing this report, the Presidency is still trying to pressure Ajibola to step down for Akande. It is however yet unknown if Ajibola is yielding or not, but an Ajibola supporter told chidi opara reports on phone earlier today that "no way, nobody, not even the President can change what has been done. Our man will contest and win tomorrow". A Presidency insider informed us that "there is no going back on Mrs. Akande". The post of Speaker is zoned to the South-West where Ajibola and Akande come from by the PDP.

Parliamentarians from the opposition parties and a group of disgruntled PDP members are set to exploit the squabbles to get their prefered candidate, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal elected as Speaker. Tambuwal is a renegade PDP member from Sokoto state also vying for the position of Speaker.

Unconfirmed information at our diaposal has it that Aminu Tambuwal has the tacit backing of the Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN). ACN is presently, Nigeria's major opposition party.

Meanwhile, chidi opara reports can confirm that a group of parliamentarians across party lines held a closed door meeting in Kano yesterday evening where a resolution was reached "to resist imposition of Speaker from outside". We are not yet able to unravel the identities of the attendees.