FEMI Gbajabiamila, representing Surulere I Federal Constituency has been elected Speaker of the House of Representatives.
He polled a total of 281 votes and Mohammed Bago, representing Niger State’s Chanchaga constituency, got 76 votes in the election where 358 members-elect participated.
The election was moderated by the clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori.
Both candidates are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), but the party endorsed Gbajabiamila.
Abdulmumin Jibrin, director-general of Gbajabiamila Campaign Council, nominated him, while the motion was seconded by Lynda Chuba-Ikpeazu, member of the opposition People’s Democratic Party representing Onitsha North and South Federal Constituency.
Jibrin admiringly described Gbajabiamila as a complete gentleman, defender of the downtrodden, quintessential family man, unifying force, and man of integrity who “has spent almost two decades contributing to the building and moulding of this institution of the House of Representatives and National Assembly as a whole”.
“Mr. Clerk, I rise to nominate an astute lawyer, who ran a successful private legal practice and has contributed to the legal profession both in Nigerian and abroad,” he said.
“I rise to nominate a distinguished lawmaker, a legislator per excellence. I rise to nominate a man who rose to become the minority leader of this hallowed chamber and subsequently becoming the majority leader, a record only him holds in the history of parliamentary politics in Nigeria.
“I rise to nominate a reformist, a visionary, a courageous man who believes in the independence of the legislature and also the interdependence of the legislature. I rise to nominate a man who will meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians, their dreams for the kind of house and legislature they have yearned for.
“I rise to nominate … our choice, the choice of all parties, the choice of the APC, the choice of other opposition parties, the choice of the president, the choice of stakeholders, the choice of the business community, the choice of the civil society, the choice of the youth, the choice of the women, the choice of the students.”
Like Ahmed Lawan in the eighth Senate, Gbajabiamila was the House Leader in the eighth House of Representatives.
He holds a Juris Doctorate from the John Marshall Law School and ran a law firm in Atlanta, Georgia, before returning to Nigeria. He has represented his constituency at the National Assembly since 2003.
Earlier in the day, Lawan and Ovie Omo-Agege were elected as the Senate President and Deputy Senate President respectively.