BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – In line with all its political permutations, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) pulled through the candidacy of its preferred choice as Hon Femi Gbajabiamila (APC-Lagos) braved all odds to emerge Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives.
It was indeed a landslide victory for Gbajabiamila in the Speakership race following his nomination by the former House Committee Chairman on Appropriations Committee, Hon Jibrin Abdulmumin (APC), representing Kiru/Bebeji Federal Constituency of Kano State. Jibrin’s nomination was supported by Hon Lynda Chuba-Ikpeazu, a third term member of the House representing Onitsha North and South Federal Constituency on the platform of PDP
The Clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, who announced the results, said that 358 members voted at the polls with Femi Gbajabiamila scoring 281 votes to overwhelm his only opponent, Hon Mohammed Umar Bago (APC-Niger) who garnered a paltry 76 votes.
According to Omolori, one vote was recorded as invalid while two members were absent on the floor. He therefore declared the Lagos lawmaker as the new Speaker.
Born in 1962, Hon Gbajabiamila is a fourth (4th) term member and was the immediate past Majority Leader in the 8th House of Representatives.
For the Deputy Speaker position, it was a smooth ride for Hon Ahmed Idris Wase (APC-Plateau) whose nomination by Hon Sada Soni (APC-Katsina) was not challenged by any member.
Idris was declared unopposed as the Deputy Speaker by the Clerk with no challenger in sight after repeated announcement for another nomination.
Meanwhile, immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has felicitated with Senator Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila on their elections as new President of the Senate and Speaker, Nigerian House of Representatives.
Similarly, Mr Dogara congratulated Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and Hon Ahmed Idris Wase for their emergence as Deputy Senate President and Deputy Speaker of the House at Tuesday’s keenly contested elections in both chambers of the National Assembly.
According to a statement released by his spokesperson, Turaki Hassan in Abuja on Tuesday, Dogora said the wishes of majority lawmakers have been expressed in the new leaders’ emergence.
The former speaker, who is now a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker, said he was committed to supporting the new leadership in ensuring that the ninth (9th) National Assembly succeeds in its mandate delivery.
Dogora stated that this would be achieved by total commitment towards enthroning democratic ideals and legislative interventions for the overall development of Nigeria as a nation state.
The former Speaker prayed for God’s guidance and protection to enable the newly elected leaders achieve success in their new assignments.
Four years ago in 2015, Dogara had defeated Gbajabiamila to become the Speaker in controversial circumstances.