The frosty relationship between Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and his deputy, Ahmed Idris Wase, again reared its ugly head yesterday as the two presiding officers engaged each other in a war of attrition. Of late, there has been no love lost between the duo following Gbajabi- amila’s preference for the APC anointed candidate, Tajudeen Abbas, over his deputy as his successor. Wase, who felt betrayed by his principal, had been boycotting pre-plenary leadership meetings as well as the speaker’s procession to the plenary.
At Wednesday’s plenary, Wase came to the chambers about one hour after the Gbajabiamila had started presiding. But the altercation began when towards the end of the plenary, while adjourning the House, Gbajabiamila announced the inauguration of the permanent site of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS)at Airport road by President Muhammadu Buhari at 14:30pm today. He told the chairman of the rules and business committee, Fulata to make the order paper for Thursday light so that they can adjourn plenary by 14:00pm and go for the commissioning.
But Wase countered the directive telling the speaker that plenary is more important than the commissioning, especially at this period of the close of the 9th Assembly. Apparently surprised by the objection, Gbajabiamila said in all his years as a lawmaker, he had not seen a deputy speaker openly challenging the speaker. He said: “DS, I have been in this House like enough to know that this is the first time in the history of this House that a deputy speaker will openly oppose what the speaker says.”
But Wase insisted that he must air his opinion saying the primary business of the House was lawmaking and other official businesses, adding that the commissioning of NILDS headquarters was not enough to adjourn the House.