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.
1212: Hon Kalu was sworn in as Deputy Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives for the 10th National Assembly.
1200: Hon Benjamin Kalu emerged Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives unopposed.
1144: Hon Abbas declared winner and pronounced Speaker of the 10th HoRs. He polled 353 votes to defeat Hon Idris Wase and Hon Aminu Jaji who polled three votes each.
1138: Voting ends in the race for post of Speaker of the 10th House of Representatives.
1002: Voting has commenced and it is by voice votes.
1001: Senator Jibrin Barau has been sworn in as the Deputy Senate President of the 10th National Assembly.
1000: The Clerk after asking if there are further nominations, declares Senator Jibrin Barau as Deputy Senate President unopposed.
0959: Senator Jibrin Barau has accepted his nomination.
0953: Hon. Jaji accepts his nomination while hammering on the need to allow democracy to thrive even in the National Assembly.
0951: Senator Dave Umahi has nominated Sen Jibrin Barau as Deputy Senate President and read his citation.
0950: The Clerk of the Senate has called for nominations of candidates for Deputy Senate President after Senator Akpabio has taken Seat as President of the Senate.
0949: Hon. Ahmed Ibrahim nominates Hon Aminu Jaji for Speaker.
0947: Hon Wase accepts his nomination as he insists on equity and fairness, as well as the need to maintain the tenets of democracy.
0941: Hon. Tijani Kayode nominates Hon Idris Wase for Speaker.
0941: Hon Abass accepts the nomination.
0940: Senator Godswill Akpabio sworn-in as Senate President.
0937: Senator Akpabio has been returned elected as President of the 10th Senate after scoring 63 votes defeating Senator Yari who scored 46 votes.
0935: Hon Ado Doguwa nominates Hon Tajudeen Abass for Speaker of the House of Representatives.
0929: Supporters of Senator Akpabio surrounded the Akwa Ibom-born politician congratulating him on his success, though results are yet to be officially announced.
When officially announced, he will be the first South-Southerner to be elected President of the Senate since Nigeria got its independence in 1960.
0928: Nominations are underway in the House of Representatives. The deputy clerk announces that voting will be by open ballot system
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.