10th NASS: Dark Horse Emerges as President Tinubu Wades In
Following the controversy generated by the decision of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to anoint Hon. Tajudeen Abass as its candidate for the Speakership of the House of Representatives, the President, Bola Tinubu, may have settled for another lawmaker from Zamfara State.
Findings over the weekend revealed that the President is heavily considering the selection of Hon. Aminu Sanni Jaji for the head of the nation’s lower legislative chamber.
Sources close to the seat of power noted that the move to install Abass differs from a consensus of lawmakers from the North West, which the party zoned the position to.
The lawmakers, it was gathered, are planning to sponsor another lawmaker against the party’s wish.
Sources also hinted that the President is looking in another direction to balance positions to avoid the 2015 experience where the party did not endorse a candidate.
Reports indicate that the development is not unconnected to an alleged cold war between President Tinubu and former President Buhari, where the latter was angry to have not been consulted before the APC NWC decided to pick Abass for the role.
Another source told journalists in Kano that after several meetings and consultations, the lawmakers who intend to scuttle the party’s zoning arrangement were disappointed because lawmakers elected from the North West and the incumbent President were not consulted before the agreement was reached.
The source said: “The situation is getting interesting. No one wants to leave the game by chance. The lawmakers-elect concluded that the President and his predecessor needed to be adequately consulted before the decision. They are more than angry because they feel they and Tinubu should have jointly endorsed Abass and Kalu. With the current situation, the President is handicapped. He wants everyone to be peaceful. We are with Jaji, and we are not going back.
“The lawmakers-elect have met our colleagues from the opposition and are not backing down. They are mounting pressure on President Tinubu. Jaji is from Zamfara State, where Senator Abdulaziz Yari comes from; our source claimed that the President thinks that supporting Jaji from Zamfara State will pacify Yari, who has insisted on contesting for Senate President against the wishes of the party that has endorsed Senator Akpabio a Christian from Akwa-Ibom state.
“I think the party has concluded to go for Jaji, who comes from the same state as Yari; it’s not in the nation’s interest to have another Muslim as a Senate President when we already had a Muslim-Muslim as President and Vice-president respectively, we shouldn’t push our luck beyond the limit,” the source said.
With the way things are going, Jaji may be the best bet. President Tinubu may have changed his mind. He may not support Tajudeen Abass again.
“We will see what happens when the President meets everyone this week. Everybody is putting their cards on the table. They may later disregard the President if his decision does not suit them.”
Jaji, a House of Representatives member from Zamfara State, is a ranking and ardent supporter of President Tinubu and his predecessor, Buhari, He served as the contact and Mobilization director of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Campaign Council for North West.