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Senate Retains Mark as Reps Jettison Zoning

By IWPR Nigeria






Election came up again in Nigeria on Monday.

But this time, it was to choose the leadership of the National Assembly – consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

In Nigeria’s political hierarchy, the Senate President and the House Speaker are recognised as third and fourth citizens.

The number one citizen is the President and the Vice President comes immediately after him. The stakes were therefore high; but only in the House was there some twist to the tale.

As expected, the Senate adopted the previous leadership.

David Mark, from north central, returned as senate president; while Ike Ekweremadu, from south east remained his deputy.

Both were re-elected un-opposed in deference to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s), zoning arrangement.

However, PDP members in the House of Representatives broke ranks. They dumped the party’s zoning policy to pick Aminu Tambuwal, from the north west, as speaker.

Emeka Ihedioha, from the south east is Tambuwal's deputy. If the zoning arrangement had been followed, the south west would have produced the speaker. Instead, the candidate from the zone, Akande-Adeola, a woman, lost to Tambuwal by a wide margin.

Opposition party members sided with the dissenting PDP representatives to produce the outcome. Some observers think this could be a pointer to exciting legislative times ahead. 

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