The member of the House of Representative representing Yamaltu-Deba Federal Constituency of Gombe state, Hon. Engr. Yunusa Ahmed Abubakar has described the election of the leadership of National Assembly as politicking. He said there was nothing wrong in what happened on the 9th of June, 2015 when members of the chambers chose their leaders. “What happened was politicking. Some people were ganging against each other and one group outsmarted the other and carried the day. That is politics for you”, he said.
Hon. Engr. Abubakar admitted that the leadership of All Progressive Congress (APC) waited for too long before acting on who to be the leaders of both the upper and lowers chambers. “They allowed too much water to pass under the bridge. They had ample time to decide on who will be the leaders but the leadership of APC allowed things to linger until the eleventh hour”, he admitted.
He suggested that they should have done what he termed “Chinese talk”. He revealed that the APC does not have absolute majority in the senate and needed to meet with PDP members earlier than less than the 48 hours they used in rallying round for alliance. According to him, APC has 58 members while PDP has 49 members in the senate. He also revealed that there are about six political parties that have members in the national assembly; APC, PDP, ACP, APGA, Accord Party, and Labour Party.
He maintained that the APC was not taken unawares but that they started late in trying to take absolute control of leadership of both houses. “APC is my party. We were not taken unawares; rather what they did was that they miscalculated.
It will be recalled that emerged leaders of both houses were not what APC bargained for as shown below; The All Progressive Alliance (APC) produced the senate president in the person of Senator Bukola Saraki, a former governor of Kwara State. Unusually, the immediate past deputy senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was reelected as the deputy senate president. Another departure from the norm is the election of the immediate past senate president, also of PDP was elected as the senate leader.
On the other hand, the lower chamber, the House of Representative defied APC arrangement to elect Yakubu Dogara as the speaker of House of Representative. Hon. Yusuf Suleiman Lasun was elected as the deputy speaker.
Saraki, a former Kwara State governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, emerged unopposed shortly after the Clerk of the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa, proclaimed the eighth Senate into existence.
In the Senate, the major battle for the position of Senate President was between Ahmed lawan (Yobe North) and Bukola Saraki (Kwara Central),who emerged unopposed shortly after the Clerk of the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa, proclaimed the eighth Senate into existence.
Senator Ike Ekweremadu of the Peoples’ Democratic Party defeated Sen. Ali Ndume of the ruling party to become Saraki’s deputy.
Mr. Lawan was the preferred candidate of his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, while Mr. Saraki had the support of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
In the House of Representatives, it was also a direct battle between Femi Gbajabiamila (Surelere, Lagos) and Yakubu Dogora (Tafawa Balewa/ Bogoro, Bauchi).
Hon. Gbajabiamila was adopted by the APC as well, while PDP directed its members to vote Hon. Dogara into office. Eventually Hon. Dogara defeated the former Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, in a keenly contested poll.