Gbajabiamila and Wase Clash Over Legislative Priorities in Public Plenary

In an unusual display of open disagreement, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and his Deputy, Idris Wase, clashed during a public plenary session on Wednesday. The bone of contention was the Speaker’s announcement to lighten the Order Paper for Thursday to allow members to attend the official Commissioning of the permanent site of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS).

Before adjourning the plenary, Gbajabiamila announced that President Muhammadu Buhari would commission the NILDS’s permanent site along Airport Road at 3.00 pm on Thursday.

However, Wase disagreed with the Speaker’s plan. He stressed that the primary business of the House was lawmaking and handling other official matters, and therefore the commissioning of the NILDS headquarters shouldn’t lead to adjourning the House’s operations. He suggested that members willing to attend the commissioning could do so without disrupting the House’s activities.

Gbajabiamila countered by saying, “DS, maybe the importance of NILDS is not clear to you like it is to some of us. We are not adjourning the House for members to attend the commissioning. I said the order paper should be made lighter because I will attend the commissioning.”

However, Wase fired back, stating, “Mr. Speaker, the House is not about I, but us”.

Despite the heated exchange, Gbajabiamila instructed the Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Business to lighten the Order Paper and adjourn the House at 2.00pm. His decision was met with approval from the members present, who chorused “Carried.”

The clash underscores a growing division between Gbajabiamila and Wase, sparked by the endorsement of Hon. Tajudeen Abbas as Speaker of the 10th House. It is reported that Wase has been avoiding the daily leadership meeting and shunning the Speaker’s procession to the Chamber, openly accusing Gbajabiamila of backing Tajudeen for the Speakership position.

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