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Jibrin was supposed to endorse Gbajabiamila for speaker yesterday but had last-minute change of mind

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Jibrin was supposed to endorse Gbajabiamila for speaker yesterday but had last-minute change of mind

Intense politicking and horse trading are currently ongoing among APC lawmakers for a chance to occupy the presiding officer positions which will become available once the new national assembly is inaugurated in June.

For now, the three candidates leading the race are Yakubu Dogara from Bauchi; Abdulmumin Jibrin from Kano and Femi Gbajabiamila from Lagos.

Gbajabiamila has the backing of most in the APC leadership so far, while Dogara is making a strong case for the speakership to move to the North East. Jibrin, on the other hand, is not seen by many as the strongest of contenders because he comes from the same zone as Pres-elect Muhammadu Buhari.

Gbajabiamila and Jibrin almost found common ground on Monday and scheduled a press conference in which Jibrin was expected to step down for Gbajabiamila, the current minority leader.

Unfortunately for Gbajabiamila, when it was time for the press conference at the Hilton, Jibrin was a no-show. He had changed his mind, demanding that he should be allowed to emerge as deputy speaker to Gbajabiamila as a condition.

With the South West zone of Gbajabiamila having 82 (mostly APC members) and the North West of Jibrin having 92, a coalition between the two men could tip the scales.

A source within the Gbajabiamila group said the proposal by Jibrin to emerge as deputy speaker was unacceptable as the party reportedly wants that position to go to the North-East.

Jibrin told online newspaper, premium times that the press conference could not hold because he later realised the need for further consultation. He insisted that the original agreement was for him and Gbajabiamila to announce a joint ticket deal.

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