Gbajabiamila, Faleke may clash over Tinubu’s Chief of Staff tussle
Ahead of inauguration of the president-elect, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023, the battle for the office of the Chief of Staff may put the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and member representing Ikeja Federal Constituency, James Abiodun Faleke on collision course.
CAPITAL POST gathered that Gbajabiamila who contested to return to the 10th National Assembly and got elected suddenly became interested in the office of the Chief of Staff to the President, a position that Faleke who is the House Committee Chairman on Finance has been longing for.
Faleke sometime last year openly told some party supporters who visited him in his office at the National Assembly to indicate their support for Tinubu when the All Progress Congress, APC was preparing for the presidential primaries that he would be the Chief of Staff to Ttinubu if he emerge president.
Gbajabiamila’s interest in being the Chief of Staff has made him to be hanging around the president-elect since he was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the early hours of Wednesday, March 1, 2023, while he was conspicuously missing at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja, on Wednesday when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) presented certificates of return to elected members of the 10th House of Representatives.
While Faleke who was appointed Administrative Secretary of the APC presidential campaign council, PCC coordinated his activities well enough, such that the president-elect commended him in his acceptance speech after being declared winner, didn’t recontest for House of Reps seat, Gbajabiamila was re-elected to represent Surulere 1 federal constituency, Lagos.
A close ally of Gbajabiamila and a Reps member who didn’t want his name in print told CAPITAL POST on Friday that Gbajabiamila is desperate for the office of the Chief of Staff to the President because he will not be allowed to be Speaker or become any of the principal officers in the 10th National Assembly.
Though, Faleke who hails from Kogi State from the Western Senatorial district remain Tinubu’s confidant and its isn’t clear, if the president elect will prefer Faleke to Gbajabiamila in his administration.
Meanwhile, both Faleke and Gbajabiamila are core loyalists who have been working with their principal for the past 20 years in Lagos.
CAPITAL POST recalled that Faleke who was the late governorship running mate to late Abubakar Audu in 2015, but didn’t get to the office as a result of Audu’s demise purchased the expression of interest and nomination form to contest governorship primaries later this month on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
Though, Faleke has not spoken with CAPITAL POST on his preference between being Chief of Staff to the President and being governor of Kogi State, a reliable source said, he would prefer to be Chief of Staff as governorship race in Kogi State can spring surprises and disappointments. The same scenario of Chief of Staff preference was also attributed to Gbajabiamila who was ready to abandon his fresh mandate.
A source said: “That is what we are hearing. If you notice, he didn’t come for his certificate of return on Wednesday. The truth is he doesn’t need that certificate; he has everything to function optimally as chief-of-staff to the president in the new government.
“He has worked with politicians in every federal constituency and across political divides in the last 20 years.”
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