9th NASS leadership: Lawan becomes Senate President as Gbajabiamila emerges House Speaker

• Omo-Agege succeeds Ekweremadu as deputy Senate President
• Idris Wase emerges deputy Speaker unopposed
• APC shouldn’t see my contesting against Lawan as rebellion – Ndume
• Why I contested to be Deputy Senate President again – Ekweremadu
• Lawan, Gbajabiamila, others can always count on my support – Dogara

Ahmed Lawan, the All Progressives Congress (APC), preferred candidate, has been elected the President of the Nigerian Senate, and Chairman of the 9th National Assembly.

Lawan defeated the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), adopted candidate Ali Ndume, also of the APC with 79 votes. Ndume polled only 28 votes.

In 2015, Lawan, who represents Yobe North, contested the seat of Senate president against Bukola Saraki but lost to the former Kwara State governor.

In the same vein, the immediate past Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has emerged the Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives having garnered 281 votes out of 358 votes cast.

He defeated his only contender, Umar Bago, who garnered 76 votes. One vote was invalid.

In a related development, Ovie Omo-Agege of Delta-Central senatorial district has defeated Enugu-West lawmaker-elect, Ike Ekweremadu, a three-time deputy senate president to become the new deputy senste president.

Omo-Agege, who was endorsed by the leadership of the APC, polled over 60 votes to defeat Ekweremadu of the PDP, while the lawmaker representing Wase Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Ahmed Wase, has emerged the Deputy Speaker of the House unopposed.

However, Senator Ali Ndume representing Borno South senatorial district, who contested for the office of the 9th Senate President without success, has pledged to work with the newly-elected Senate President, Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan.

Speaking immediately after the election which he lost on Tuesday, he explained that he will work with Lawan in the interest of the country.

He described Lawan as a well experienced lawmaker who was four years ahead of him, adding that he happily contested the election which he believes was in tandem with democracy, and expressed optimism that the ruling APC would not see his action as a rebellion, but as a way of deepening democracy, asserting that what he did made the election of the Senate President credible.

“Ahmed Lawan is my brother who is well experienced having been here four years ahead of me. I will give him all the necessary supports. I insisted on contesting against him in order to deepen democracy.

“I hope the party would agree with me that what I did was in the interest of democracy and I do know that power belongs to God. It’s God’s will that my colleague becomes the President. I will do all I can with others for him to succeed because his success is our success,” he said.

For Senator Ike Ekweremadu, he said he decided to contest the senate deputy president seat in protest against the nomination of Omo-Agege for the position.

Ekweremadu, who is the immediate-past deputy senate president and represents Enugu West Senatorial District, made the disclosure while speaking with newsmen shortly after the election at the National Assembly complex.

He said he decided to contest in protest against the nomination of Omo-Agege for the position of the number-two man of the 9th Senate.

“I believe that there must be a referendum looking at what happened when I was presiding when the Senate was invaded.

“It would have been very embarrassing that somebody who led that operation would just be asked to take a bow and would be endorsed and we all walkover as if it doesn’t matter.

“So I wanted a situation where Nigerians, especially through their representatives, will be able to present a referendum in respect of what transpired and then be able to either endorse or condemn it,” he said.

Meanwhile, the immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara has congratulated Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan and Hon Femi Gbajabiamila on their election as Senate President and Speaker of the 9th Senate and 9th House of Representatives.

He also felicitated with Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase for their emergence as Deputy Senate President and Deputy Speaker.

In a terse statement issued by his spokesman, Turaki Hassan, Dogara described the emergence of new leaders of the National Assembly as the reflection of the wishes of the majority of Senators and Honourable Members.

While praying God for guidance to the new House leadership, the former Speaker also restated his continued commitment and support towards the success of the 9th National Assembly through enthronment of democratic ideals and legislative interventions geared towards the development of the Nigerian nation.

“It is my sincere hope that the 9th Assembly under their leadership will consolidate on the unprecedented landmark achievements of the 8th Assembly and even surpass our records. We ask God to give them the wisdom and strenght to pilot the affairs of their respective Chambers and contribute their quota in enthroning good governance in Nigeria. They can always count on my support,” he said.

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