Nigeria’s awaiting president, Muhammadu Buhari, is ready to address Senators and House of Representatives-elect, who will be the legislative arm of his government today, Wednesday 29, 2015.
Mallam Garba Shehu, the Director Media and Publicity of the APC Presidential Campaign, while confirming this, also said that Buhari would today (Wednesday), formally inaugurate his transition committee to interface with the team of the outgoing President Goodluck.
“Yes, the President-elect will inaugurate his transition committee tomorrow (today). He is scheduled to meet with the elected members of the party in the House of Representatives and will also receive visiting dignitaries as usual.” He said.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, has come under pressure from lawmakers seeking to succeed him as they are desperately in search of his support.
Among the top contenders seeking his support are House Minority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila (Lagos State); Chairman, Committee on House Services, Mr. Yakubu Dogara (Bauchi State); and a member of the House Committee on Public Accounts, Mr. Paly Iriase (Edo State).
A fourth contestant, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin (Kano State), is also in the race, but he is said to be counting on emerging as the speaker, despite his zone (North-West), not mentioned in the zoning talks by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress.
Investigations showed that the outgoing speaker had “struggled” to remain neutral in the last one week by refusing to declare complete support for any of the contenders.
“We can’t say that he has openly assured any of them that he will help canvass votes for them,” a senior lawmaker informed The PUNCH on Tuesday in Abuja.
Although, Tambuwal, who would have been sworn in as the Governor of Sokoto State by the time the new speaker would be elected on June 6 would not vote, the aspirants believed a word of support from him could swing support in their favour.
Meanwhile, a separate source revealed that Tambuwal almost backed the candidacy of Dogara a few days back, but later retreated to his neutrality position this week.
“I think the feeling at a point was that he appeared to be giving Dogara assurances.
“But, it turned out to be the normal interactions between politicians at times like this.
“Yesterday (Monday), he was seen closely relating with Gbajabiamila at the International Conference Centre, venue of the ongoing induction course for new lawmakers.
“The minority leader actually came to the event with Gbajabiamila.
“It was not clear whether arriving together was to pass the message that he was with Gbajabiamila,” one member told Journalists.
The Speaker’s Office did not respond to the issue when The PUNCH sought for a reaction on Tuesday.
His Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Imam Imam, said he would seek his boss’ views and get back to our correspondent, but there was no reaction as of the time of going to the press.
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