Monday, June 6, 2011

Tambuwal elected Speaker

Members of the House of Representative today defied the wishes of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to elect Aminu Tambuwal as its speaker.

Mr Tambuwal was elected by a simple majority vote of 252 members on Monday amidst cheers during the inauguration of the seventh session of the House of Representatives.

His election brought an end to a long draw battle for the position occasioned by a controversial zoning of the Speakership to Nigeria’s South West by the PDP.

He was immediately sworn into the office by the Clerk of the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa, after which the gavel was handed to him, following which the joyous speaker climbed into his official seat.

The House, for weeks, was hotbed of intrigues, allegations and counter allegations, with many members vowing to disrupt the party formula by electing from outside the region.

Before the Monday elections, members of the party and opposition lawmakers, questioned the PDP zoning structure and vowed to remain defiant by pushing for a candidate independently chosen by the House.

He got the votes of more than half of the 220 members of the House of Representatives are from the his party, PDP, and a great percentage of votes from the 140 members from the opposition parties.

Aminu Waziri Tambuwwal, 43, represents Kebbi/Tambuwal Federal Constituency, Sokoto State in the House of Reps. He was the Deputy Majority Whip in the previous house and is from the North West, zone of the current vice president. He has an alliance with Emeka Ihedioha, the Chief Whip of the former House. Emeka Ihedioha, the deputy speaker was elected unopposed by a unanimous votes of the members after Friday Itulah, the beneficiary of the PDP zoning formula declined to contest after his mate, Ms Akande-Adeola was defeated in the speaker-ship race.

The party, including the Presidency, had favoured the emergence of relatively less known member, Mulikat Akande-Adeola, from the South West. She however could not garner the support of her colleagues who showed preference for Mr Tambuwal.

Ms. Akande-Adeola got 90 votes in the open secret ballot votes adopted by the House in electing its speaker.

The election of Tambuwal as speaker enthrones democracy in the national assembly but deletes the predominantly opposition South West region from the political office arrangement of the ruling PDP.

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