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PDP lawmakers ‘all set’ to choose senate president, speaker for APC

PDP lawmakers ‘all set’ to choose senate president, speaker for APC
June 08
21:40 2015
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With the All Progressives Congress (APC) unsuccessful in its last-minute moves to avoid a contest, the senate president and speaker of the house of representatives will be decided by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The PDP, which lost control of both houses for the first time since 1999, has officially adopted Bukola Saraki for senate president and Yakubu Dogara for speaker – in opposite direction of APC’s choices.

Olisa Metuh, the PDP national publicity secretary, issued a statement early Tuesday morning announcing Saraki and Dogara as the candidates endorsed by the party. Both are former members of the party.

The APC leadership had at the weekend held a “straw poll” to pick candidates for the 8th national assembly which will be inaugurated on Tuesday.

Ahmad Lawan was the winner of the senate straw poll, but with only 32 senators-elect backing him in the open ballot, he cannot feel at ease in the secret ballot on the floor of the senate. APC has 59 senators while PDP has 49, bringing the total to 108. Ahmed Zanna, who would have been the 60th APC senator, died in May.

Saraki, who rejected the outcome, is claiming to have 65 senators in his camp, which would be more than enough to install him as senate president. He is banking on the support of APC senators who migrated with him from the PDP before the general election, as well as the PDP senators.

APC is officially backing Lawan, who has also been marketed as the choice of President Muhammadu Buhari, even though Buhari has openly declared a disinterest in the process. But the senators from Buhari’s home state, Katsina, are with Lawan, who is also being supported by Bola Tinubu, a national leader of APC.

Tinubu initially backed George Akume, who has now settled for the deputy senate president slot apparently to pave the way for Tinubu’s candidate for speakership, Femi Gbajabiamila, in a give-and-take deal.

Gbajabiamila won the straw poll for speakership. If all 153 APC reps repeat their votes for him, he will need only 27 of PDP’s 147 reps to clinch the nation’s No. 4 position.

Dogara also fancies his chances. He was a member of PDP until the mass defection of 2014, and is banking on the PDP reps to do him a favour. He is also believed to be enjoying the support of former speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, who still has his loyalists among the old APC guard.

From every indication, however, PDP will decide the leaders of the APC-dominated national assembly.

Senate President: Meet the Gladiators

bukola saraki

Abubakar Bukola Saraki

Date of BirthDecember 19, 1962
Age52
StateKwara (north-central)
EducationMedical doctor
Legislative ExperienceSenate (since 2011)
Social Media97k facebook likes; 194k twitter followers
Support BaseClaims support of 65 out of 108 senators. Only 55 senators needed to win.
ChancesNot backed by the APC hierarchy but relying on the support of the “New PDP” faction in the party as well as the PDP senators. Chances brighter than acknowledged by opponents.
Did you know?His late father, Abubakar Olusola Saraki, was the NPN senate leader in the second republic

ahmed lawan

Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan

Date of BirthJanuary 12, 1959
Age56
StateYobe (north-east)
EducationPhD geography
Legislative ExperienceHouse of representatives (1999-2007); Senate (since 2007)
Social Media1,300 facebook friends; 200 followers on twitter
Support BaseAPC hierarchy. Already endorsed by 32 senators and needs 23 more to win.
ChancesIf he is able to break the PDP ranks, he may just nick it. Just.
Did you know?Lawan has a bachelor’s degree in geography, a master’s in remote sensing and a PhD in remote sensing/GIS.

Speaker: Meet the Gladiators

Gbajabiamila1

Femi Gbajabiamila

Date of BirthJune 25, 1962
Age52
StateLagos (south-west)
EducationLaw
Legislative ExperienceHouse of representatives (2003)
Social Media32k facebook likes;14.9k twitter followers
Support BaseBacked by the APC hierarchy and 154 members, needing only 27 more to hit the 181 threshold.
ChancesBright. Easier to secure 27 more votes from the 147 PDP members if they don’t vote as a bloc.
Did you know?Says he was born after eight years of prayers by his parents who had suffered secondary infertility after having a set of twins.

dogara3

Yakubu Dogara

Date of BirthDecember 26, 1967
Age47
StateBauchi (north-east)
EducationLaw
Legislative ExperienceHouse of representatives (since 2007)
Social Media3.6k twitter followers
Support BaseA former member of PDP, he is backed by many PDP house members and some APC reps.
ChancesIf the PDP votes as a bloc for him as he has been promised, Dogara could win by a narrow margin.
 Did you know?Dogara is a minority Christian from Bauchi state.

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16 Comments

  1. Abubakar
    Abubakar June 08, 23:34

    What matters is who delivers the APC promise of change to Nigerians. Period.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Mclee
    Mclee June 09, 00:40

    With the inauguration of Mr President, Asiwaju has become redundant as the President becomes the National Leader of the Party. Thus Asiwaju needs a wing to fly thru the Speaker if Gbaja is elected Speaker. Running the House from Bourdillon will be dangerous for democracy.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Harry
    Harry June 09, 00:56

    I would have wanted a Saraki/Dogara combo- that would at least balance the religious divide. Nigerians just love bringing up the religious card in times like this.
    However, may the best men win!
    God bless Nigeria.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Awheeler Nwosu
    Awheeler Nwosu June 09, 04:30

    Interesting scenerio. Democracy in action. Members of the NASS should do well to protect & preserve the principles of the independence of the legislature from external influence & separation of powers. By so doing they will be deepening our democracy. Wishing all the contestants good luck.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Sholly Bobo
    Sholly Bobo June 09, 06:05

    The contest will be very tight, but I foresee a situation where Bukola Saraki will emerge as the next senate president and Gbajabiamila emerging as the new speaker of the HOR.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Okey
    Okey June 09, 06:49

    APC stole the house speakership in the 7th assembly, now it is the turn of PDP. One good (bad) turn deserves another.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Black Boy
    Black Boy June 09, 07:17

    David mark can still strategies and become a senate president since APC are bringing religion among themselves!

    Reply to this comment
  8. Tayo
    Tayo June 09, 08:01

    The Leaders of APC are right. Saraki is not in like of Buhari/Osinbajo. Mark my word.: Sore thumb that boy will be.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Freeman
    Freeman June 09, 09:43

    …ţђoųgђţ APC āŋd bųђāŗį pŗomįşęd ŋęvęŗ ţo įŋţęŗƒęŗę wįţђ ţђę şęlęçţįoŋ oƒ…
    ām wāţçђįŋg ђow ţђįş bāţţlę ęŋds. doŋ’ţ ƒoŗgęţ ţђāţ APC ђāş 59, āŋd PDP ђāş 49. bųţ APCS çāŋdįdāţę įş şųŗę oƒ jųşţ 32 įŋ ţђę opęŋ bālloţįŋg. wђāţ āboųţ ţђę şęçŗęţ bālloţįŋg.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Bronco
    Bronco June 09, 09:49

    I agree 100% with Tayo. If PDP wants to break up the ruling party easily,they have a handyman in Bukola.He is driven by an ambition to leap-frog to the Presidency in 2019 and so would do anything to clinch the Senate Presidency .Meanwhile,at home, while breathing over Ahmed’s head,he is grooming a toddler-son to be Governor too.APC should watch out !

    Reply to this comment
  11. precious
    precious June 09, 11:01

    God is great.History is repeating itself.May God,s perfect will for Nigeria be done.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Mixture
    Mixture June 09, 15:04

    We d down troden, Or d less previllage citizens should be clear about ds, d chamber men r doing ol ds politiqn for their personal gains n enrichmen if one of dr ally clinch to d mantle of leadn d house. Ds will enable a particula cliq gettn more juicy n lucrative commette to head. Inrespective of who win lets not bother our self with d cliq but with dr ability to deliver on development n realiable monumental changes with out sabotagn d good effort of d executive to deliver promise n mandate. If 2 elephant r fightn only d grass soffers d most. No light, good road, health, education n so on n so forth. But dy smile to d banks even durn recess. Hahaha lets b united masses ok.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Mummy A
    Mummy A June 09, 16:59

    Saraki is now our senate president let’s support him with our players. God bless Nigeria and may we help ourselves too.

    Reply to this comment
  14. Pastor
    Pastor June 09, 21:39

    It is interesting to see the popular saying what you sow you will reap come to pass in the House of Representatives Speakership election. When Hon Gbajabiamila masterminded and played the gladiator in the 7th Assembly to frustrate the decision of the PDP leadership to elect Hon Tambuwal little did he know that he had sown a seed that he would eat it’s bitter fruit in future.
    This is a lesson to everyone. The evil that men do live after them
    I only pity the south west where I happen to come from. Twice we have lost the speakership because of “over skill wey dey kill monkey”.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Pastor
    Pastor June 09, 21:47

    It is interesting to see Hon Gbajabiamila eat the bitter fruit of the seed he sowed. The evil that men do live after them.
    A lesson for all to learn from.

    Reply to this comment
  16. ozed
    ozed June 29, 11:45

    this is the will of the people. no man is God

    Reply to this comment

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