All is now set for members-elect of the 9th House of Representatives to elect presiding officers to pilot their affairs for the next four years.
A total of 360 members are expected to cast their votes for their most preferred candidate. The race for the speakership would be a straight fight between former house leader Femi Gbajabiamila (Lagos, APC) and Umar Bago (Niger, APC). There is however another aspirant, John Dyegh (Benue, APC) who has vowed not to step down from the race. Mr Gbajabiamila enjoys the support of most members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) which initially declared him as the most preferred candidate. On the other hand, Mr Bago enjoys the backing of majority of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members led by the former speaker, Yakubu Dogara.
So far, only one candidate, Idris Wase has declared interest for the deputy speakership.
Mr Wase was initially running for the speakership position but decided to step down and run for the deputy position on the same ticket with Mr Gbajabiamila. The APC, however, has a majority of members, closely followed by the PDP. The gap between the two parties is about 40 members. Other political parties with representation in the house include the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), People’s Redemption Party (PRP), Labour Party (LP), Action Alliance (AA), Action Democratic Congress (ADC) and Social Democratic Party (SDP).