The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, has offered 60 Peoples Democratic Party’s members-elect positions of chairmen and deputy chairmen of committees if he is elected the Speaker of the Ninth House of Representatives on Tuesday.
The Director-General of the Femi Gbajabiamila /Ahmed Wase Campaign Organisation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Saturday.
Jibrin said the 60 PDP members had accepted the offer and have started working with their colleagues in the ruling All Progressives Congress to ensure that Gbajabiamila, who is the preferred candidate of the party, emerged the winner.
While saying that the PDP already has two factions in the House of Representatives, the lawmaker from Kano State said Gbajabiamila’s camp had sealed a deal with a faction while discussions were still ongoing with the other faction.
He said with the votes of the APC members well secured for Gbajabiamila, the camp was confident of victory.
He said, “Before Femi’s endorsement by the party, the President, the governors and others, majority of us the lawmakers have agreed that he is the Speaker that we want. It was after that decision that other endorsements came.
“As it is today, he has massive supports across party lines. In 2015, the APC was just only guiding its votes because we believed then that we had the number to win the election. We didn’t bother about anything, but the PDP was concentrating on how to poach the APC members and that was how the election was won.
“But this time round, the APC is more comfortable because we have more numbers with our 223. But even at that, our campaign is more aggressive towards poaching the PDP members than the aggression of the PDP members trying to poach our members.
“As it is today, the reality of the matter is that the PDP has been split into two factions. We have been open in negotiating with both factions. We have sealed a deal with one of the factions and we are still talking with the other faction.
“We are only doing that as a safety net. We do not need the whole of the PDP members to win the election. In fact, we may not even need a vote from the PDP because we are guiding our 223 votes religiously.
“But as a safety net, we have already over 60 members of the PDP working with us. There is nothing you can do to change the minds of these PDP members because their support is based on their conviction that Gbajabiamila and Wase are the best to occupy those positions at this time.
“On the aspect of responsibility in the parliament, we are always reluctant mentioning this but it is the reality, sharing of committees and the rest. We have offered 60 positions.
“If not that the party has been broken into two factions, it is what we would have offered to all of them, but since we have concluded with one faction, we have given them that offer and they have accepted it.
“We have 60 of them and they are going to have 60 offices. It means that every one of them will have a particular position to hold in the next House.