After more than two hours of voting, members of the House of Representatives elected Hon. Yakubu Dogara (APC), Bauchi), as the seventh Speaker in a keen and politically slippery contest.
According to a Thisday report, Dogara’s 182 votes was one vote above the 2/3rd majority stipulated by the 1999 Constitution. Gbajabiamila scored 174 votes.
Two ballots were sorted as void.
An indication that the contest would not favour the APC’s anointed candidate, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila (APC, Lagos), started when, about 10:31 am, news filtered into the green chamber that Senator Bukola Saraki had emerged as the Senate President.
Both Saraki and Dogara had challenged the straw election conducted by the party last Saturday. The mock election had returned Senator Ahmed Lawan (APC, Yobe) and Gbajabiamila as the sole candidates of the party for the National Assembly top jobs.
The duo defied their party’s choice and subsequently got the backing of the People’s Democratic Party ( PDP) a few hours before the legislators of the two chambers handed down their verdicts.
Activities inside the green chamber commenced at 12:33pm when the Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa, read a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari which signified the convocation of the 8th Assembly.
Thereafter, a roll call of the members was taken. It showed that 358 members were present. One was absent.
Eventually, the real business of the day began with Hon. Abdulmumini Jibrin (APC, Kano) , nominating Dogara. In his brief preceding the task,
Jibrin had argued that they were asking Dogara to accept the nomination “in spite of the personal consequences.”
Gbajabiamila, on his part, was nominated by Dr. Muhammad Sani Abdu (APC, Bauchi).
Dogara was sworn in by Maikasuwa shortly after the ballots were collated and results announced.
The new Speaker took the mantle of leadership about 4:45 pm.