The support base of Mohammed Bago, a frontline contender to the speakership of the House of Representatives of the incoming 9th National Assembly may have increased with 195 members-elect signing up for him. The move apparently shows that the members-elect may have largely bought into the equity agitation of the aspirant.
Similarly, 156 members were said to have openly declared support for his candidature recently after a meeting at a location in Gwarimpa, Abuja. Bago, a third time member from Niger State, is contesting against the All Progressives Congress, APC, endorsed aspirant, Femi Gbajabiamila from Lagos State, is generally regarded as the champion of equity and fairness in the contest for speakership.
Speaking on the current standing of the candidates, a member-elect from the South-West told journalists that the current swing towards Bago may have arisen from a combination of factors, chiefly his brilliant showing at the interaction, which the rival Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, held with all the aspirants, including Gbajabiamila, at the Transcorp Hilton last week.
Besides this, the member-elect, who craved anonymity, stated that “even within the ruling APC, Bago has so deftly sold his message that he is currently running neck to neck with Gbajabiamila for the signature of our party members.”
The member-elect also disclosed that the current crisis of confidence raging among top APC stalwarts is also working perfectly in Bago’s favour.
The member who was obviously referring to the godfather spat between Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai and National Leader of the party, Alhaji Bola Tinubu, as well as this week’s epistle by Deputy National Chairman, North of APC, Senator Lawan Shuaibu, asking the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, to resign stated that Bago’s candidacy is being adopted, promising a surprise on the inauguration day.
The member-elect hinted that arising from the uncertainty surrounding the brickbats, many top members of the party from North-West and North-East zones have started making overtures to the Bago group in search of accommodation.
“In fact, if things continue the way they are going, before the end of Sallah festivities billed for next week, the Bago campaign would have become a hurricane, with no fewer than 230 members elect on board,”the member said.
When contacted for comments on the new development, spokesman for Bago Campaign Organisation, Victor Ogene, said issues that have to do with members-elect supporting Bago would remain closely guarded until few days to inauguration.
Ogene: “You know this is a contest involving only 360 members as the electorate, so we are focusing on those that would vote for us, instead of engaging in show-off trips.”
Continuing, Ogene said that the group will continue to appeal to all members-elect, expressing satisfaction that their message of ensuring equity, justice and fairness for the six geo political zones of the country is beginning to resonate even among members elect who initially spurned the message.
“We believe that at the end of the day, Hon. Bago will emerge victorious, having come from the North central that has never held the position since 1999. Besides, the creator of the universe is a God of justice,” Ogene stated.