As the Bauchi State House of Assembly sets for inauguration today, one of the three top contenders for the seat of speaker may emerge soon after the commencement of the 9th Assembly.
The inauguration of the 9th Assembly, which was earlier scheduled for Monday, June 17, was postponed to today following alleged clash of interest between Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed and his predecessor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar on the choice of speaker.
Governor Mohammed is said to be supporting Abubakar Suleiman Ningi, member representing Ningi Constituency while ex-governor Abubakar is backing the immediate past speaker of the 8th assembly, Kawuwa Shehu Damina, representing Darazo Constituency.
The former governor reportedly had a secret meeting with some members of the House of Assembly in Kano including the two other contenders where he asked them to elect Damina as speaker to maintain the status quo.
Another contender for the seat is Tijjani Mohammed Aliyu representing Azare/Madangala Constituency.
APC has 22 out of the 31 Assembly members; PDP has eight while NNPP has one member which gave the APC an edge over the ruling PDP to determine who becomes the next speaker. Sources said Governor Mohammed prefers Ningi who is a newly elected member as opposed to Damina and Aliyu who had worked with the ex-governor.
It was further gathered that APC leadership in the state and the former governor were still pushing for Damina.
But PDP, under whose platform Mohammed emerged governor, reportedly preferred someone who had not been part of the Damina-led 8th Assembly that was seen as a rubber stamp of the former governor.
At the instance of the former governor, Damina allegedly spearheaded the repeal of the anti-graft law and planned enactment of the law to establish additional districts, village and hamlet areas at the twilight of the last administration.