Ahead of the inauguration of the ninth Bauchi House of Assembly on Monday, three members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are eyeing the coveted speakership seat.
The Nation also gathered there is conflict of interest over which senatorial zone should produce the occupant.
Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)- led government might play a key role in determining who becomes the next speaker.
The Nation also gathered though PDP doesn’t have the numerical strength to produce the speaker in the state with just 8 members in the Assembly while the APC has the majority of 22, leaving the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) with just a member.
The PDP is throwing its weight behind one of the top contenders, Abubakar Suleiman, a new member representing Ningi Constituency in Bauchi central zone.
The other two contenders are former Speaker Kawuwa Shehu Damina, representing Darazzo constituency.
He is said to be optimistic of being returned.
But there is also the Majority Leader, Hon. Tijanni Muhammad Aliyu representing Azare / Mangala constituency.
A source familiar with the power- sharing formula for the emergence of a Speaker said the PDP is not comfortable with the former speaker returning due to his antecedents in the immediate past administration of Mohammed Abubakar.
The source said: “Since the Governor Bala Mohammed is from Bauchi South, his Deputy Sule Audu Katagum is from Bauchi North, the Speakership has been zoned to Bauchi Central Senatorial zone.
“The outgoing speaker is from Darazo local government in Bauchi Central, the Majority Leader, Hon.Tijjani Muhammad Aliyu is from Bauchi North, and Abubakar Suleiman is from Ningi Constituency.
“Albeit, the former speaker is from Bauchi Central but the Governor is not comfortable with him due to his antecedents in the immediate past administration of Mohammed Abubakar so the Governor is throwing is full weight behind the man from Ningi.”
The source however clarified with the power- sharing formula, someone from Bauchi Emirate will not emerge as speaker since the Secretary to the State Government, Alh. Muhammad Sabiu Baba and the Governor are both from Bauchi Emirate in Bauchi Central.
He said further with the power- sharing formula, the choice of speaker remains in Bauchi Central but must definitely be from another local government, which is not part of Bauchi Emirate.
“The outgoing speaker is from Darazzo local government in Bauchi Central and Darazzo is also part of Bauchi Emirate.That is why PDP don’t want him.
“Ningi, Wargi and Misau local governments are the other Local government that makes up the Bauchi Central but are not in Bauchi emirate
“So the PDP wants the speaker to come from outside Bauchi Emirate but still from Bauchi central. They want it to go to any Local Government that is not Darazzo,” the source further confided.
But the Nation also learnt that the former speaker, who is from Darazzo, is trying to capitalise on his incumbency power because majority of the members are returning to the House.
Speaking in an interview with the Nation reporter after a valedictory session of the 8th Assembly on Friday, he expressed optimism of being returned unopposed.
He said his track records in the House would definitely speak for him.
He said he wants to continue to address lot of reforms like autonomy of the judicial and legislature and several pending bills stating that continuity is key to address this.
Enumerating achievement of the 8th Assembly under his leadership, he said: “76 bills, 120 motions, 84 matters of urgent public importance received 45 messages from the immediate past Governor, Muhammad Abubakar, attended to 20 petitions and dispose them, 81 committee reports were also received and adopted.
“I made sure there was peace throughout my tenure and I introduced lot of reforms in the aspect of training and retraining.
“In the course of my four years, I made sure apart from the legislatures, I also deemed it fit that every staff in the House went for training and retraining.”