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………With 281 votes Gbajabiamila floors Bago to become Speaker
The Clerk to the National Assembly conducted the House’ polls shortly after the Senate’s. Sani-Omolori then called for nominations for speakership position.
The Director-General of the Gbajabiamila Speakership Campaign Council, Mr Abdulmumin Jibrin, nominated Gbajabiamila, saying he was “our choice, the choice of all parties, the choice of other opposition parties, the choice of the President, the choice of stakeholders, the choice of the business community, the choice of the civil society, the choice of youth, the choice of women and the choice of students.”
Seconding Jibrin’s motion nominating Gbajabiamila, Mrs Linda Ikpeazu of the PDP said, “I stand to second the nomination of a nation-builder, a man who believes in the unity of this country and is committed towards the attainment of that unity.”
Accepting the nomination, Gbajabiamila said, “With a great sense of humility, I will stand on the nomination address of Honourable Jibrin. I have nothing else to add.”
Also, Abubakar Ahmed from Gombe State, who was booed during his speech, nominated Bago.
Ahmed said, “Today, we are standing at the threshold of his history where sentiment must give way to fact and reason; where morality must guide our conduct; where national interest must supersede personal, partisan or pecuniary interests. The sacred oath of office will soon be administered on us, using that small book that will define our conduct and guide our functions in the next four years.”
Seconding the motion, another member, Mr Mark Gbillah, said Bago was a “non-partisan, focused, educated, respected and capable gentleman.”
Bago accepted the nomination, saying, “This aspiration is not an ambition of Bago.”
After the election, Gbajabiamila won the speakership seat with 281 votes out of the 358 members-elect in attendance, to defeat Bago from Niger State, who got 76 votes. There was one invalid vote. Bago is also a member of the APC.
Earlier, shortly after Bago’s 76 votes were counted, the aspirant proceeded to Gbajabiamila’s seat and hugged the winner and his campaign manager, Jibrin.
Many other lawmakers also approached the new Speaker to congratulate him even while his votes were still being counted.
Gbajabiamila, Jibrin and other loyalists went to embrace the immediate past Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara.
Bago, who had shunned the APC’s leadership instructions to step down for Gbajabiamila, also went to the National Chairman of the ruling party, Adams Oshiomhole, and took photographs with him.
Gbajabiamila, a fifth-term member of the lower chamber, was Minority Leader in the 7th House and later Majority Leader in the 8th House.
The nomination of the APC’s candidate for Deputy Speaker, Mr Idris Wase, was unopposed. He was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers for the seat.
Gbajabiamila promises reforms, says Reps’ll ‘shake the table’
In his speech, Gbajabiamila promised to reform the federal parliament.
He said, “There comes a time in the life and history of a people when they interrogate the past and present, review past sacrifices, miscalculations and errors and collectively decide to opt for change, peace and progress. We are at such a moment in this country. Honourable colleagues of the 9th Assembly, this is our time, this is our moment and history beckons.
“The 9th Assembly under my leadership is going to be a House of reforms or if you like; a reform Assembly. The reforms will be dished out piecemeal and at intervals so as not to shock the system. Moving forward, therefore my dear colleagues, it will not be business as usual and we will be shaking the table just a little.”
…appoints ex-Zamfara Speaker as CoS
Gbajabiamila also announced the appointment of the former Speaker of the Zamfara State House of Assembly, Mr Sanusi Rikiji, as his Chief of Staff, saying the appointee “comes with a wealth of legislative experience and I believe his inclusion in this Assembly will add immense value.”