Proceedings for the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly in Nigeria’s political capital city, Abuja have commenced.
The inauguration of both 10th Senate and 10th House of Representatives are done concurrently at the Red and Green Chambers.
Already, top contenders for the principal seats in both chambers have arrived at the venue ahead of the in-house election for each of legislative chambers.
Also, outgoing Senate President, Ahmed Lawan; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume; former Governor of Kano State, Abdullah Ganduje, amongst other 109 senators are in attendance.
For the Green Chamber, about 360 lawmakers are also seated.
0915: Voting ended in the Red Chamber and agents of both candidates called forward as counting begins.
0845: Voting has begun on a state by state basis, alphabetically.
0844: The Clerk declared nominations closed in absence of further nominations. The contest is now between Senator Godswill Akpabio and Senator Abdul Aziz Yari.
0843: The shouting match was between Senators Solomon Olamilekan and Ishaku Abbo.
0844: Though the Point of Order was raised due to Senator Yari not being a ranking member of the Red Chamber, he accepted his nomination.
0841: A Point of Order was raised to counter the nomination of Senator Yari but other Senators raised their voices claiming a Point of Order is not admissible in this case.
0833: Senator Ishaku Abbo nominated nominated Senator Abdul Aziz Yari as Senate President.
0830: Senator Akpabio accepted his nomination.
0823: Senator Akpabio is nominated by Senator Ali Ndume who reads the biography of the former Akwa Ibom governor.
0825: Roll call done and inauguration has commenced with the nomination of Senator Godswill Akpabio as Senate President.
0822: The clerk of the Senate reads the roll call of Senators in the chamber.
0820: The clerk of the House of Representatives commenced proceedings in the House.
0812: Proceedings commenced at the Red Chamber.
Race For 10th NASS Leadership
In the just-concluded elections, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) secured over 170 of the 360 seats in the green chamber, the highest by any party. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came second with over 100 seats, the Labour Party (LP) with over 35 seats, the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) with about 20.
Many APC lawmakers have since indicated interest to emerge the next Speaker of the House. They include Benjamin Kalu, Ahmed Wase, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, Yusuf Gagdi, Aliyu Betara, Tajudeen Abbas, Abdulraheem Olawuyi, Sani Jaji, Princess Onuoha, amongst others.
Also, Senators Abdulaziz Yari, Orji Kalu, Godswill Akpabio have also showed interest in becoming the next Senate President after Ahmad Lawan.
However, the APC officially zoned the Senate President to the South-South (Akpabio) Deputy Senate President to the North-West, Barau Jibrin. The party also zoned the Speaker position to the North-West (Abass), and Deputy Speaker to the South-East (Kalu).
Many APC hopefuls rejected the party’s position and called for a review of the formula to cover the North Central geopolitical zone and not two positions for the North-West but the party chieftains continue to argue that the North-West gave the President the highest vote and therefore deserves to be compensated.