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The camp of Femi Gbajabiamila and Idris Wase to head the Ninth House of Representatives got a boost yesterday with the declaration of support by 12 out of 16 members-elect from Kaduna State.

The members-elect also promised to secure the support of four Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members from the state for their Ninth House of Representatives leadership candidates.

A statement yesterday by the Tajudeen Abass, on behalf of the others, reads: “Members-elect of the Kaduna State Caucus in Ninth assembly of the House of Representatives on Saturday met in Kaduna to discuss, among other things, their commitment to the candidature of Femi Gbajabiamila/Ahmed Wase as Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

“Nine out of the 12 All Progressives Congress (APC) members-elect were in attendance; two were in Saudi Arabia for Umrah (lesser hajj) and one member-elect sent apology due to ill-health.

“The meeting was a huge success as all the members-elect not only reiterated their unflinching support for the project but also assisted in convincing the other four PDP members-elect from Kaduna State to come on board.

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“The Kaduna State Caucus meeting was chaired by a fourth-term member of the House, Garba Datti Mohammad.”

Also, House of Representatives Deputy Whip Pally Iriase (Owan, Edo) has said House Leader Femi Gbajabiamila would win the June 10 speakership contest, even if the party had not anointed him as its choice candidate.

Iriase told reporters that Gbajabiamila’s experience and support base among his colleagues would have seen him through.

He said: “Let me say right away that the House is a self-regulating one. The constitution gives the House the ability and authority to, among themselves, chose or elect their presiding officers, first of whom is the Speaker.

“So, if that is the position of the Constitution, then, the House, historically, has always been able to determine who is the best among several people who will put interest forward.

“It’s not a crime for any elected member, particularly re-elected members, to want to give the speakership a shot. But whether or not he would win is for the entire membership of the House to decide.”

Iriase noted the APC going person-specific after zoning the speakership to the Southwest was unnecessary.

“From the outset, let me say that it was totally unnecessary. We’ve passed this road before. I don’t know why we don’t learn from history. But I pray that this time round, history does not repeat itself, and I don’t wish it does.”

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