10th Speakership: Gbajabiamila, Wase Clash During Plenary
The struggle speakership of the House of Representatives has brought the current speaker and his deputy to knock heads during Wednesday’s plenary where they exchanged hot words to the consternation of other members.
Since the recommendation of Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu as preferred speaker and deputy for the incoming 10th House, Gbajabiamila has not found favour in the eyes of some of his colleagues in the House.
Gbajabiamila who’s performing the role of Chief of Staff to the President-elect and has been tipped for the position has reportedly escaped impeachment several times since reports emerged he recommended Abbas and Kalu to Bola Tinubu, the President-elect who in turn informed the party, the All Progressives Congress of his choices.
The development has created a toxic atmosphere with aggrieved aspirants trying to impeach the Lagos lawmaker and poised to ensure their member in the G-6 emerges in June when the assembly would be convened.
The frosty relationship between the two ranking officer of the House came out in the open on Wednesday when Gbajabiamila presided over plenary.
While Wase had avoided Gbajabiamila several times since the impasse, it was not to be on Wednesday when Gbajabiamila directed the Chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business, Abubakar Fulata, to “make the order paper very light” on Thursday to enable members attend an event at the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies.
Wase leapt to his feet in anger following the speaker’s announcement, saying, “Mr Speaker, I’m getting to see this getting so funny and we have lost quite a number of periods of time. For the commissioning of projects for God’s sake!
“Why do we have to shelve a lot of activities that we have just to go and witness the commissioning of a project of NILDS?
“I want to beg, sir, that we should do our functions. Those who have the interest to go, they have the right to. But our main primary function in this parliament is to make law and our citizens should be our priority,” Wase stated.
Gbajajabiamila however responded that,“Perhaps, DS, you don’t appreciate the importance of NILDS like some of us do. I think NILDS is very important.”
But Wase interjected before Gbajabiamila could finish, stating, “I have every information and idea of what NILDS is!”
The Speaker again responded by saying, “It was set up by this same institution by statute. We are not adjourning the House to go to NILDS; what I said was, ‘Let’s try and make it light and leave here by two.’ If you want, we can resume by 10(am).
“We will do our work but we will adjourn this House at 2 pm. I will witness the NILDS (event) because it is important to me,” Gbajabiamila explained.
At this time, a visibly angry Wase pointed out that, “The parliament is about us, not about ‘I’,” in his bid to correct the speaker.
At that point, Gbajaabiamila exploded, saying, “Mr Deputy Speaker, this is the first time in history…I have been in this House for many years, perhaps even longer than anybody here…this is the first time in history that a Deputy Speaker will be challenging what the Speaker is saying.”
Not done yet, Wase replied that, “I don’t understand what you mean by challenging, sir. That I should not make my contribution?”
As the hot exchange of words continued, Gbajabismila looked at the rest of his colleagues and said to Fulata that, “Let me repeat please: Chairman Business and Rules, please make the order paper very light. We are adjourning this House by 2 pm tomorrow.”