House leadership: Tinubu meets Betara behind closed doors
One of the leading aspirants for the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the coming 10th National Assembly, Aliyu Berata, on Wednesday met with the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, behind closed doors.
Betara, who is representing Biu/Bayo/Shani/Kwaya Kusar Federal Constituency in Borno State, met with Tinubu at the Defence House in Abuja.
A video of Betara’s visit to the President-elect, which was released to journalists by his media office on Wednesday, showed Tinubu holding the hand of the lawmaker and leading him into an inner office for a private discussion, in the presence of stakeholders in the ruling All Progressives Congress.
According to Betara’s office, the meeting with the President-elect was with a view to “extracting his support and endorsement.”
Tinubu had on Wednesday met with some APC leaders and governors as well as members-elect of the Senate and the House who are aspiring for various leadership positions in the coming 10th National Assembly.
A lawmaker at the meeting, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, however, noted that the President-elect held different meetings with the stakeholders.
Videos and photographs of visitors at the Defence House have shown Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila; Chairman of the House Committee on Finance/Secretary of the disbanded All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, James Faleke; and Chairman of the House Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson, on the House side.
On the Senate side were President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Senators Olamilekan Adeola (APC/Lagos), Tokunbo Abiru (APC/Lagos), Opeyemi Bamidele (APC/Ekiti), Barau Jibrin (APC/Kano); and former Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio (APC/Akwa Ibom), among others.
Akpabio and Jibrin are both gunning for the seat of the President of the Senate.
There were also Governors Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, and Abiodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State as well as the National Chairman of the APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
Another video released by Betara’s media office showed Tinubu exchanging pleasantries and taking photographs with Lawan, Abiodun; Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa; outgoing members of the House, Babajide Obanikoro (APC/Lagos) and Abubakar Lado (APC/Niger), among others.
Aspirants for the Office of the Speaker in the 10th Assembly, some of whom have yet to officially declare their ambitions, are now over 10. They are seeking to succeed the incumbent Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, who has also been reelected for a sixth term.
The contenders include the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase; embattled Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; Chairman of the House Committee on Navy, Yusuf Gagdi; Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations, Aliyu Betara; Chairman, House Committee on Science Research Institutes, Olaide Akinremi; Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Benjamin Kalu; and Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Land Transport, Tajudeen Abbas; Chairman of the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, Abdulraheem Olawuyi; Chairman, House Committee on Water Resources, Sada Soli; Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Defence, Makki Yalleman; Chairman of the House Committee on PWDs, Miriam Onuoha; and Sani Jaji.
Wase and Gagdi are from Plateau in the North-Central geopolitical zone; Ado-Doguwa, Kano, North-West; Betara, Borno, North-East; Akinremi, Oyo, South-West; Kalu, Abia, South-East; Yalleman, Jigawa, North-West; Jaji, Zamfara, North-West; Soli, Katsina, North-West; Olawuyi, Kwara, North-Central; Abbas, Kaduna, North-West; and Onuoha, Imo, South-East.
The President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is from Lagos in the South-West, while the Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima, is from Borno State in the North-East.
The APC is now left to consider National Assembly leadership positions for the remaining zones – North-West, North-Central, South-South and South-East – in its much-awaited leadership zoning plan.