New Senate President, House Speaker Emerge Next Monday
ABUJA, May 30, (THEWILL) - Following the successful swearing-in of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for a four-year-term Sunday, the 7th National Assembly of the Fourth Republic is to be formally inaugurated next Monday, June 6, 2011, with presiding officers elected.
Legislators-elect for the bicameral Nigerian parliament made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives are expected to be sworn in at 10 am, THEWILL can report.
Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa who disclosed this in a statement released today advised all senators and members-elect to come along with their certificates of return as well as evidence of assets declaration in line with section 52 (1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
Meanwhile, the two chambers are expected to elect their principal officers shortly after inauguration that Monday even as uncertainty still beclouds who emerges with what in the House of Representatives.
In the upper house, the outgoing Senate President, David Mark and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu have successfully edged out the new senators from contesting against them by amending the Senate rules barring fresh lawmakers from vying for any leadership position citing ‘ranking’. Although, former Governor of Gombe state, Alahji Danjuma Goje is still eyeing the position of Senate President despite being a new senator, only June 6 would decide.
However, the situation in the House of Representatives is different as the members are likely to abandon the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) zoning formula, which allocated the position of Speaker and Deputy Speaker to the South West and North East respectively.
THEWILL investigations reveal that majority of the members are favourably disposed to the candidature of Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal from the North West (Sokoto) as speaker as against the only two ‘eligible’ contenders from the South West, Muraina Subana Ajibola and Mulikat Akande-Adeola both from Oyo state.
THEWILL further gathered that the over 250 new members operating on the platform of 7th Assembly Group are also backing the candidature of Tambuwal, who is the outgoing deputy whip of the House.
Although, Hon. Yakubu Dogara from Bauchi (North-East) has declared for the post of Deputy Speaker in line with the PDP’s zoning arrangement, the outgoing Chief Whip, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha from Imo (South East) may run against Dogara as part of the decision of majority of the members to chose their leaders independent of the executive and party prompting.