Three months ahead of the inauguration of the 9th House of Representatives, six major contenders have emerged in the lead in the contest for presiding officer of the house.
Vanguard check has revealed that the men eyeing the top job in the house include Femi Gbajabiamila, the present leader of the House, Mohammed Monguno (Borno), Abdulrazak Namdas (Adamawa), Ahmed Idris Wase (Plateau), Umar Bago (Niger) and Babangida Ibrahim (Katsina).
The interest of the men is, however, coming ahead of the zoning arrangement that is expected to be put forward by the national leadership of the party.
In the 8th Assembly, it was zoned to the South West but the inability of APC to indicate where the pendulum should swing made the lawmakers take their collective destiny in their own hands.
This led to the emergence of Dogara who defeated Gbajabiamila who was the anointed candidate of the national leadership of the party.
It was a keenly contested speakership tussle that eventually snowballed into a battle royale in the House, but Dogara lived above board as a first among equals.
He steered the House from troubled territories and held on till date despite his defection to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
From the list of contenders eyeing the position, only Gbajabiamila is from the South West the most likely zone the APC leadership may endorse.
From the results released so far by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the APC has a clear majority of 200 lawmakers while the opposition party has a sketchy 154 with other parties in the recently concluded National Assembly elections.
If the APC properly manages its electoral success as it stands, it may get it. If not, then what transpired in the outgoing Assembly may rear its ugly head.
Both Chambers produced candidates that were not anointed by the APC leadership as the lawmakers with the support of PDP changed the party’s position.
Feelers, as sensed by Vanguard, indicate that the PDP may still hold the ace as lawmakers in its fold may rubbish whatever zoning arrangement put in place by the APC.
Some of the lawmakers who spoke to Vanguard under the condition of anonymity vowed that they would rubbish APC except a popular candidate acceptable to all is chosen.
One of such lawmakers from the South West told Vanguard “if what happened in 2015 is repeated most of us will join the race.
“I will run and ensure it’s rubbished as we cannot suffer on account of supporting the party the way we suffered in the last four years.
Another lawmaker from the Northwest shared a similar view declaring “God forbid I won’t make that mistake again in my lifetime as APC left us to suffer for nothing.