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The Game of Thrones at the 9th National Assembly

The Game of Thrones, as it appears, is neither only fictional nor limited to the screens. A game of strategy, lies and deceit; people playing tactics takes major root even in Nigerian politics. The machinations of what will be once plenary resumes for a fresh parliament term will begin to materialize from the moment these lawmakers get elected.

And as it has been revealed, being elected into the Nigerian bicameral legislative houses is not enough to call the shots in high places, many individuals who feel they are worth their salt try their luck at either being Speaker of the House of Representatives or being the Senate President of the Senate. In both cases, filling the leadership positions in the House of Representatives would require two-thirds of the total participants – 360 and 109 respectively – for a winner to emerge.

While the likes of the APC chairman, Adams Oshiomole, would keep asserting rather arrogantly that they do not need opposition votes to install the preferred choice of the Buhari-friendly APC cabal -Senator Ahmed Lawan, another APC senator, Senator Ali Ndume, is said to be smartly courting the support of PDP senators in his quest to secure the senate presidency.

The current Speaker of the Green Chamber (House of Representatives), Hon. Yakubu Dogara, despite winning a return ticket at the March 2019 polls to the 9th Assembly which will resume on May 29th, is being fiercely challenged by his major opponents, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and Abdulmumin Jibrin. Gbajabiamila, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is known to have the solid backing of the strong APC chieftain, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu while Abdulmumin Jibrin will definitely receive the backing of President Buhari. The first time Gbajabiamila and Jibrin vied for the position of Speaker, they were cunningly outwitted by the smartness of a consensus reached by other rogue APC legislatures and the opposition legislatures from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and Dogara clinched the speakership seat.

In the Red Chamber too (Senate), the incumbent Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, not returning to the 9th Senate, also provides grounds for more senators to breathe easier as he is greatly feared for his diplomatic and negotiation skills which he could deploy to sway rogue senators from the APC to elect him again. But even at that, despite the advantage of no more having Saraki in the midst of the senators, some crisis seems to be brimming already within the ranks of APC senators and which could deliver headship of the Senate too in the hands of a PDP-friendly, APC senator.

As Dogara and Saraki later cross-carpeted and returned to PDP from where they came originally did, there is no evidence a switching tactic which is similar to this will not be exploited this time around as well.

If a faction of the majority party (APC) reaches a compromise with the opposition to rather elect a leader presents itself to these lawmakers, the powers that be may also be lurking around to pounce on any errant member who might want to collude with the PDP in what they term as anti-party activities.

In the next few weeks, we shall be seeing a lot of swinging in loyalty and alliances formed just for the ambition of these politicians to be actualized. And again, we shall see how democracy will be tested in both the Red and the Green chambers this time around, as they play the games which ensues their battle for the throne of the 3rd and 4th most powerful Nigerian (seat) in government.

Featured image source: Premium Times Nigeria

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Macaddy Gad

Macaddy is mostly a farmer in the day who also dabbles into technology at night, in search of other cutting edge intersections. He's on Twitter @i_fix_you

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