Amidst mounting pressure from stakeholders, the APC, over the weekend, has finally settled for Hon Femi Gbajabiamila and Hon Tahir Monguno as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, while Senator Ahmed Lawan and Senator George Akume have been chosen to become the next Senate President and Deputy Senate President. The candidates emerged following a mock election conducted by the National Working Committee, NWC of the party at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
From every indication, the race for the speakership position is now squarely between Gbajabiamila and Dogara.
He represents Surulere 1 Federal Constituency of Lagos state. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Law from University of Lagos and Marshall Law School, USA. He was the Minority Leader in the 7th House of Representatives and the APC caucus leader. He was first elected into the lower chamber in 2003 where he was the Committee Chairman, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria. He has also served as the House Minority Whip.
It is obvious that Gbajabiamila has the strong backing of the party, but his alliance with Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is seen as a minus for him. Already, some the PDP caucus in the House said they will in a Speaker who will carry all members along irrespective of party affiliation.
Perhaps, this why a member of the 8th Assembly, Hon Jibrin Abdulmumin, said they would not allow a Speaker that will be pocketed by one selfish individual.
He represents Bauchi, Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency of Bauchi state. He was one of the 37 lawmakers that defected on the floor of the House on December 2013. He was the Committee Chairman of House Services in the 7th Assembly and Chairman, House Committee on Customs in the 6th Assembly a position he was said to have discharged creditably. He holds a bachelor’s degree in law.
Although PDP caucus in the lower chamber has not officially endorsed any of the candidate, it has been rumoured that they will pitch their tenth with Hon. Dogara, who is seen to be dynamic and possess a likeable personality just like Tambuwal.
Certainly, PDP will not only be in the minority in the 8th National Assembly, but also will determine who become the Senate President and Speaker in both chambers. In the House, for instance, PDP members in the House are about 142 members out of the 360 members. The caucus leader, Hon Leo Ogor has repeatedly said they are determined to choose leaders that will have support across party lines and will protect the interest of all the members irrespective of party affiliation.
“We are going to elect a Speaker that is going to be based on transparency, accountability and a Speaker we know definitely well that will speak for all of us. We cannot sit down and automatically endorse somebody. It is not done that way.
“Let’s me also point to one funny thing in the House. They don’t want a scenario where somebody dictates for them. You saw what happened at the Tambuwal era. It is not different. So my appeal is to allow the House chooses the candidate so that we don’t end up suffering the wrong candidate out of annoyance,” Ogor asserted.

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