Gbajabiamila Emerges Speaker Of House Of Reps In Mock Election
Dogara Kicks, Fault Process Of Gbajabiamila’s Election
A member of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, representing Surulere Federal Constituency of Lagos State, yesterday, emerged the sole candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives.
His counterpart from Borno state, Alhaji Tahir Monguno also got the endorsement of his colleagues to fly the flag of the party for the seat of the deputy speaker.
The emergence of Gbajabiamila, who was the immediate past minority leader of the lower legislative chamber did not occur without an incidence, as his major contender, Mr Yakubu Dogara and a handful of his supporters stoutly opposed the procedure used to determine the flag bearer of the party in the House Speaker election billed to hold on Tuesday, on the floor of the House .
Dogara who was the immediate chairman of the committee on House services, alongside about 14 of his supporters were sighted walking out of the international conference centre venue,where 182 of the 209 APC members were in attendance.
APC’ national secretary, Malam Mai Mala Buni ,who was the returning officer of the shadow election, declared that Gbajabiamila emerged winner with 154 votes as against 3 votes scored by Dogara.
There were Four invalid votes. 161 members voted for the speakership nominee of the party. For the deputy speaker seat flag bearer, where 183 voted, Monguno scored 153 votes.
On hand to witness the shadow election, conducted under a peaceful atmosphere, were the APC’s national Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, deputy national Chairman, north, Senator Lawal Shuaibu, his counterpart from the north, David Babachir, an engineer, national vice chairman south, Segun Oni and the national women leader, Hajia Aisha Tijjani.
Before the commencement of ballot, Oyegun, who was apparently referring to Dogara and his supporters, faulted the notion that the selection process was aimed at imposing a particular candidate on the members of the party in the House of Representatives.
He explained that the selection process was aimed at not only ensuring party harmony, but to put forward a formidable candidate for election as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Moments after results were declared, Oyegun admonished both Gbajabiamila and Doguwa to accommodate their aggrieved colleagues, adding that it “behooves on them to ensure delivery of democracy dividends” under the Muhammadu Buhari led administration.
Alhaji Alhassan Ado Doguwa (Kano) seconded by Philips Shuaibu (Edo) nominated Femi Gbajabiamila.
Mr Pally Iriase ,who was nominated by Dickson Gbagi stepped down for Gbajabiamila, saying his decision was aimed at averting acrimony in the APC.
However, Dogara ‘s supporters, under the aegis of the 8th Assembly Consolidation Group described the election of Gbajabiamila as an illegal act, adding that the party lacks the power to dictate to the members of the House of Representatives on the occupant of the Speakership position.
In a statement entitled: “Our Stand on the Illegality perpetrated by leadership of the All Progressives Congress”, they claimed that they were ambushed with the election procedures by the chief Oyegun led leadership of the party.
“We in the 8th Assembly Consolidation Group of Hon. Yakubu Dogara wish to state our position on the event of today Saturday 6th June 2015 as follows:That we got invitation for a meeting summoned by the APC leadership.
That we went to the meeting with the expectation the party wanted to give us last word ahead of Tuesday’s inauguration of the House.
However, we began to notice some moves in the hall where members supporting Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila started campaigning and soon we saw ballot papers being moved in the hall.
“The National Chairman of the party, Chief John Oyegun ,informed us that they were going to conduct a mock, straw or primary election. The 8th Assembly Consolidation Group mandated Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin to speak on our behalf.
“First, we read out the statement issued by our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari on the election of National Assembly leadership. We then told Chief Oyegun that it is either he is disagreeing with the President, undermining his stance, or does not agree that the president is the leader of the party.
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