There was tension in the House of Representatives on Monday, August 1st, over an alleged plot to remove the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, over the budget padding allegations made by a former Chairman of the Committee on Appropriation, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin.
It was reported that many members were ruffled, forcing a large number of them to rush from their vacation spots to meetings in Abuja where the alleged plot was discussed.
Majority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, however, reportedly doused the tension among factions by urging members to have faith in the leadership of the House under Dogara.
The APC lawmaker from Lagos State has kept sealed lips over the budget crisis since it started on July 21.
Gbajabiamila had reportedly refused to speak openly in support of Jibrin or Dogara, and the three other principal officers whom Jibrin had accused of padding the 2016 Budget.
Deputy Speaker, Mr. Yussuff Lasun; the Chief Whip, Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; and the Minority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor, inclusively.
It was learnt that some persons in the House in a text message that members of the House received on Monday accused Gbajabiamila of siding with Jibrin to remove Dogara because of his silence.
A senior legislative official reportedly said
“This group circulated a text message among members, giving the impression that there would be a leadership change in the House.
They attempted to re-open the old Dogara-Gbajabiamila rivalry and create mayhem,”
The text read, “Plot to destabilise the leadership of the House of Reps has taken a new dimension as the Attorney-General of the Federation, working with Gbajabiamila, Jibrin and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, has drafted charges to arraign and detain principal officers of the House so that the Transparency Group, who recently met with Tinubu’s wife, will effect a leadership change with Gbajabiamila as Speaker and Jibrin as the Deputy.
This is why Jibrin did not mention Femi (Gbajabiamila) in his allegations.
The 8th House won’t be anybody’s rubber stamp. We will resist them like the Senate resisted them.”
Although Gbajabiamila reportedly wrote members to calm them, urging them to disregard the text.
He also explained that he had kept silent to avoid his comments being mistaken for taking sides.