Adeola-Akande emerges House Majority Leader
Mulikat Adeola-Akande, the Oyo State lawmaker who lost the House of Representatives speakership bid to Aminu Tambuwal, has been named the House Majority Leader after months of political stalemate which pitched her against fellow lawmaker, Ajibola Muraina.
Mrs Adeola-Akande’s eventual emergence was announced on Thursday, alongside the emergence of 90 new chairpersons for the House standing committees.
For a House leadership that has maintained a fairly tenuous relationship with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the aftermath of the defiant election of Mr Tambuwal, Mrs Adeola-Akande’s choice is somewhat a win-win.
On the one hand, members say it will help mend the fractured relationship with the party, which, having failed to have Mrs Adeola-Akande elected speaker, had propped her for the Majority Leader position. On the other hand, the decision helps to foster gender rights for a chamber that has seen a growing number of women members.
Mrs Adeola-Akande is the first female lawmaker since 1999 to hold the seat which is the next in line after the deputy speaker.
For months, majority of the lawmakers had backed Mr Muraina, also from Oyo State for the position; while the party and a few lawmakers insisted on Mrs Adeola-Akande, in a long drawn controversy that ripped the chamber into camps, and accounted for the delay in the announcement in the first place.
Mr Tambuwal said the decision was reached as a consensus at the party caucus meeting, and the announcement drew cheers from house members on Thursday.
Mr Muraina has been named chairman House committee on petroleum (Upstream) as part of a long list of 90 committees announced by Mr Tambuwal. The number has risen by six from the sixth assembly which had 84 committees.
John Enoh,(PDP,Cross Rivers), former chairman Finance committee, now heads the House Appropriation committee – the federal budget planning and approving committee before which other committees are assumed as subs.
Fourth term member, Farouk Lawan (All Nigeria Peoples Party, Kano,) retains his position as the chairman Education committee while Ndudi Elumelu heads Health.
First timer, Zakari Mohammed is now in charge of media while former chairman of the Media committee, Eseme Eyiboh leads the relatively less known Civil Society and Donor Agencies committee.
Mr Tambuwal said the basis for the choices were primarily members’ areas of core competences.
“The core objective is service,” he said. “It will be unhelpful for lawmakers to see themselves as superior to others or that one is juicier than another.”