Dogara emerges Reps Speaker as PDP pulls rug off APC’s feet



Against all expectations, Hon Yakubu Dogara representing Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency of Bauchi state yesterday emerged the seventh Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The Clerk of the National Assembly,(CNA) Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa declared Dogara winner after he scored 182 votes to defeat Mr Femi Gbajabiamila who got 174 votes in the keenly contested race. Two votes were voided.

At exactly 4.40 pm, the CNA administered the oath of office on Dogara, flanked by one of his ardent supporters, Mr Abdulmumini Jibrin from Kano state. He then took his exalted seat and exchange handshake with a handful of his supporters, including Nnena Elendu Ukeje, a PDP member from Abia state who walked up to felicitate with him over his stunning victory.

Block votes from the 140 members of the House coupled with about split votes from among the 213 members in the House was all that sealed the fate of Gbajabiamila who was controversially the preferred candidate of the ruling All progressive congress ( APC) .

The outcome of the poll conducted peacefully sent shock waves into the camp of Gbajabiamila who must have pondered over what must have suddenly swung support to Dogara who until the emergence of Bukola Saraki as Senate President yesterday had an unrealistic chance of coasting home to victory. In the spirit of sportsmanship, Gbajabiamila walked up to embrace Dogara in an apparent show of support and solidarity notwithstanding their differences in the build up to the election on the floor of the House of Representatives.

As early as 6 a.m, yesterday, security personnel restricted both vehicular and human movement into the national Assembly complex. With the exception of the lawmakers and their guests, virtually all those accredited, including journalists were forced to make the long trek from the federal secretariat complex to the gates leading to the foyer of the national Assembly complex.

At about 10.30 am, the over 140 PDP lawmakers, in conjunction with some of their APC counterpart who are believed to be on Dogara ‘s side erupted in a wild celebration when news filtered into the green chamber that Senator Bukola Saraki had emerged the Senate president. In spite the fact that Gbajabiamila arrived the chamber at about 11 am with less funfair, lawmakers on both sides of the divide electrified the chamber freely hailed the candidates of their choice chanting on top of their voices “Sai Gbajabiamila”, “sai Dogara”.

When Dogara decked in a white agbada stepped into the chamber at 11. 15 am majestically, the chants of “Sai Gbaja!”, “ Sai Dogara!” was defeaning to the extent that it became difficult to hazard a guess whose direction the pendulum will swing to. PDP members in the house were at it again at about 11. 20am as they erupted in another round of celebration on hearing the news of the election of Ike Ekweremadu as deputy Senate President, a fellow PDP member in the upper legislative chamber.

Then the real business of the day commenced at about 11.45 am, after the Clerk of the national Assembly (CNA), Alhaji Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa decked in a wig and gown robes walked in briskly to superintend the affairs of the day.

Former speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’Abba, immediate past House leader, Mulikat Adeola Akande were among dignitaries in attendance watching proceedings.

After initial difficulties in seperating members of the house from dozens of invitees that swarmed the chamber, the CNA formaly inaugurated the House of Representatives on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari in line with constitutional provision.

Once the first session of the 8th national Assembly commenced, the CNA subsequently conducted a roll call of members of the House on a state by state basis. 358 members were present.

Then moments later, Abdulmumin Jibrin (Bebeji, Kano), in line with section 60 of the constitution, order 2 rule 4 of standing rules of the house of representatives nominated Yakubu Dogara.

Jibrin caused a stir when he drew the attention of his colleagues that consequences might await Dogara for defying the position of the APC which preferred Gbajabiamila to stand for the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Dogara wasted no time in accepting his nomination as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

It was Gbajabiamila ‘s time as he was nominated by Alhaji Mohammed Sani Abdu (APC: Bauchi) nominates Gbajabiamila.

Mr Shuaibu Philip (APC: Edo) seconded his nomination. At 1.15 pm, Gbajabiamila accepted the nomination “with a great sense of humility to be Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Moments after the clerk of the House, Mr Sani Omolori declared at about 1.20pm that election shall be by secret ballot in accordance with the rules of the House, duly authenticated ballot papers were distributed to members who were instructed to vote and cast their ballot in a transparent box openly displayed for all to see.

Voting effectively started 1.20pm and ended 3.32 pm . before aides to the clerk of the House sorted them in an orderly manner. Dogara who represents Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa-Balewa Federal Constituency, Bauchi state was as born on 26 December, 1967.

Aged 48 years old, he is from Bogoro Local Government Area of Bauchi state North East Nigeria. He is married with two children He attended Gwarangah Primary School, Bauchi state from 1976-1982.

He had his secondary education at Bauchi Teachers’ College, Bauchi state where he obtained Grade II Teachers’ Certificate.

From there he proceeded to University of Jos, Plateau state where he obtained Bachelor of Laws, LLB (Hons), and graduated with Second Class Honours, Upper Division. From 1992 to 1993, he attended the Nigerian Law School Lagos, after which he was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1993.

He then proceeded to the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom where he obtained LLM (Masters) in International Commercial Law On his aspiration, his supporters insists he deserve the coveted seat since his north east geo-political zone had been marginalized after 2007-2011 when the North East produced Deputy Speaker Usman Bayero Nafada from Gombe state.

Those backing his bid argue that a vote and support for Dogara is a vote and support for stability, accountability, credibility and integrity. Is a vote for the enthronement of purposeful and visionary leadership in the House.

They contended thus: “ The North East was left with nothing in both Senate and House of Representatives.

The region is the third most populous zone in Nigeria after North West and South West The region has the highest number of minority tribes who have always been schemed out and marginalized. The Boko Haram insurgency is still raging and has devastated the region.

In the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections, the North East produced the second highest number of votes for the APC and second highest number of Federal lawmakers for the party. There is therefore the need to compensate the region adequately in the incoming government for the sacrifices it continued to do for the unity, stability and indivisibility of Nigeria.

Dogara is described as an embodiment of knowledge, he is intelligent, brilliant, widely read, widely travelled, highly experienced in Law and has 22years experience of aw practice.

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