Today I’ll resist the temptation to write on the intrigues ahead of the speakership contest and shift attention to the race for the position of deputy speaker. While it is true that there are several unexplored subjects on the strategies of those who want to be speaker in the 10th Assembly, I chose not to bore my readers by writing on the same topic for four consecutive weeks.
The battle for who becomes the deputy speaker of the 10th National Assembly is the next most interesting thing, after the contest for speaker.
In examining strategies of those seeking to be deputy speakers, certain names in the race for speaker may come up. This is because my analysis doesn’t suggest that they are sincerely hopeful for the speakership, rather, they declared intention for the race to raise their stakes on the table when the negotiation begins.
From my viewing, the two lawmakers from the South who declared intention to run for speaker may be interested in the position of deputy speaker or principal officer which may be conceded to them as compensation.
With profound respect to the spokesperson of the House Benjamin Kalu and Princess Onouha, the very courageous lady in the race, it is very unlikely that either of both would be a speaker even if the party zones the position to South East. For this reason, I will reserve their names as possible picks for the deputy, depending on which zone picks the president of the Senate and deputy president of the Senate.
For now, I will be restricted to the names already tipped.
Prince Akeem Adeniyi Adeyemi
Chairman of the House Committee on Telecommunications, Prince Akeem Adeniyi Adeyemi is the man to watch in the race. The son of the immediate past paramount ruler of Oyo Kingdom, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III will be returning to the Green Chamber for the third consecutive tenure and has over the years amassed the requisite legislative experience to move up the ladder.
Adeyemi who represents Afijio/Oyo East/Oyo West/ AAtiba Federal Constituency of Oyo State is a loyal party man and disciple of the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Skimeh as fondly called enjoys a good relationship with lawmakers across party divides. His loyalists in the House are already campaigning with the strong believe that APC will zone the position to South West. Should the party decide otherwise, Prince Skimeh, will most certainly respect the position of the party and position himself to be the House Leader.
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Prince Olaide Akinremi
The member from Ibadan North Federal Constituency of Oyo State is one of the greenhorns of the 9th Assembly who enjoyed favor from Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila. He was deputy chairman House Committee of Science, Technology, and Innovation, a committee that was later divided into two when the chairman, Beni Lar could not manage his deputy. Akinremi also chaired the ad-hoc committee of the House on the purchase of arms between 2011-2021. Report of the committee is still gathering dust under the office carpet of Akinremi’s ally, Gbajabiamila. Akinremi may pair with Gbajabiamila’s choice of speaker.
The daughter of a former president of the Senate, David Mark may balance the political equation for the North Central, Christians and women. Should the current deputy speaker, Idris Wase lose out in the contest, Hon Blessing who represents Otukpo/Ohimini Federal Constituency of Benue State may be featured. She is the deputy chairman House Committee on FCT and enjoys a good relationship with her colleagues both in the APC and other political parties.
Prof Prof. Julius O. Ihonvbere
Chairman of the House Committee on Basic Education, Prof Ihonvbere has been mentioned in the camps of many seeking to be speaker as a potential deputy. The professor who represents Owan Federal Constituency of Edo State may pair with one of the major contestants, but he is yet to make his position known.
The current deputy minority leader, Peter Akpatason represents Akoko Edo Federal Constituency of Edo State. He may not be the favorite of his colleagues, but Akpatason is a loyal party man and protégé of former national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole. Depending on the fate of the South-south zone in the Senate, the former labour leader may emerge as deputy speaker by party’s arrangement or pick a position as principal officer.