The crisis in the house of representatives over principal positions is over, Abdulmumin Jibrin, spokesman of Consolidation Group, has said – ahead of Tuesday’s reconvening of the lower chamber.
According to Jibrin, “gladiators” in the Femi Gbajabiamila camp have settled for the “Dogara formula” for the allocation of principal positions.
Gbajabiamila and Yakubu Dogara, the speaker, had been enmeshed in a rift over the sharing of principal positions of the house.
While Jibrin is pro-Dogara, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, the newly proposed majority leader, is pro-Gbajabiamila.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Saturday, Jibrin said: “Please recall that since the inauguration of the house, the issue of those that will assume the positions of the remaining principal officers among members of our party, All Progressives Congress (APC), has been enmeshed in deep controversy.
“Specifically, this controversy surrounded those who will occupy the vacant positions of House Leader, Deputy House Leader, Chief Whip and Deputy Chief Whip. Several efforts were made to find solution to the crisis and a couple of proposals were advanced. It is in this spirit that the Speaker, Hon Yakubu Dogara, proposed in what is now known as the Dogara formula an equity team.
“Mr Speaker’s argument has always been since the north-east and south-west have produced the speaker and deputy speaker, the remaining principal officers positions should go to the north-west, north-central, south-south and south-east in the spirit of equity, fairness, justice, a strong precedence and provision of the constitution. In the interest of peace, unity and harmony in the House, Speaker Dogara reached out extensively to individuals and groups and committed lot of energy and time toward finding an amicable solution to the nagging issue.
“This became extremely necessary in order to actualise the needed peace and unity in the House so as to commence work for the Nigerian people and provide support for our President, Muhammadu Buhari. Let me reiterate our resolve that President Buhari is going to enjoy the maximum and unprecedented support of the APC caucus in the House in order for him to achieve all the laudable programmes of this government.
“Permit me to point out, however, that the intense consultations carried out by Speaker Dogara is what eventually led to the birth of the Dogara Formula that saw the emergence of what is now known as the Equity Team. In line with the Formula, the Equity Team has Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa (APC Kano, North West) as House Leader, Hon Buba Jibrin (APC Kogi, North Central) as Deputy Leader, Hon Pally Iriase (APC Edo, South South) as Chief Whip and Hon. Chika Okafor (APC Imo, South East) as Deputy Chief Whip.
“Interestingly, both the Speaker and a great majority of the APC caucus in the House including gladiators in the Gbajabiamila’s group like Hon Mongunu, Hon Doguwa and Hon Pally support and stand by the Equity Team. We have commenced collection of signatures which has reached advanced stage to affirm the Dogara formula. All other interests, including those excluded from the principal officers, specifically Hon Gbajabiamila and Hon Mongunu will be duly accommodated with commensurate responsibility to serve. Since the Speaker has about 200 positions to share out, many members will have the opportunity to serve the country.
“In light of this development, it is heart-warming to announce to you that the disagreement in the House, which many have erroneously labelled as crisis, has finally come to an end. We hereby express our deep appreciation to Mr President for his fatherly disposition during this disagreement. We also commend our party for its patience and understanding and re-affirm our continued support for the realisation of its objectives.
“We thank Speaker Dogara for his maturity and gentle disposition towards ensuring that the disagreement is amicably resolved. We thank our other colleagues who disagreed with us for their willingness to dialogue and accept our compromise position for the peace and stability of the House and overall national interest. We will make a particular mention of Hon Mongunu, Doguwa and Pally for their patience, maturity and understanding. Finally, we thank Nigerians and once again pledge that this House will now get down to work for the Nigerian people.”
Gbajabiamila is yet to comment on the latest development, which means he can no longer be majority leader as proposed by the party leadership.