As Predicted, Godswill Akpabio, Senator, former Governor of Akwa Ibom State and former Minister, emerged as President of the 10th Senate in the election held on inauguration day, Tuesday, June 13. Senator Akpabio defeated his closest rival, former Zamfara State Governor, Abdulazeez Yari, polling 63 votes against Yari’s 46 votes. Akpabio had been the ruling party’s choice for the position. Also, the party’s choice for Deputy President of the Senate, Jibrin Barau was elected unopposed. The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had made decisions aimed at balancing elective positions in response to concerns over the muslim-muslim ticket of President and Vice President. This was a major concern during the general elections.
In the House of Representatives, the ruling party also had its candidates shoved into positions, with Hon. Tajudeen Abbas emerging as Speaker, winning 353 of the 359 votes up for grab. Two other contestants, former Deputy Speaker, Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase and Hon. Aminu Sani Jaji received three votes each. Hon. Benjamin Kalu from Abia State was elected Deputy Speaker unopposed.
With these elections of Presiding Officers, the 10th National Assmebly is on well on the ground to fill up Principal Officer positions and ready itself for the business of legislation.
Nigerians will be keenly watching how Executive-Legislature relations will play out, as well as how effectively the 10th National Assembly will carry out its work of legislation, representation and oversight.