Who emerges House Speaker of Assembly

Six All Progressives Congress (APC) federal lawmakers from five geo-political zones of the country are jostling for the position of Speaker, House of Representatives in the incoming eighth Assembly. EDEGBE ODEMWINGIE writes on their respective bids and the permutations.

In the National Assembly, the political party with the highest number of lawmakers traditionally produces the Senate president and the Speaker, House of Representatives. That had been the preserve of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last 16 years until the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the presidential election and majority seats in the National Assembly election held on March 28 2015.

In the power sharing arrangement, the APC will predictably stick to the geo-political zoning arrangement often relied on in appointing who occupies the soon-to-be vacant key positions in the fed
eration. As it stands, the incoming APC administration already has the president-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari from the North-west and the vice president-elect, Prof Yemi Osinbajo from the South-west.

Analysts predict that the position of the Senate president may go to the North-central geo-political zone. Recall that the South-east was touted for the Senate presidency but the region failed to produce any APC senator. The region also failed to produce a House of Representatives member from the APC.

It is on the basis of the foregoing that the race for the House Speaker may be defined. For the records, the speaker is number four in hierachichal structure in the federation after the president, vice-president, and the Senate president.

At the last count, six APC house members have indicated interest for the position of house speaker in the incoming eighth assembly.

Recall that the current speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has opted out of the legislature to contest the governorship of his home state, Sokoto.

The six federal lawmakers vying for the house speakership position are: Abdulmumin Jibrin from Kano (North-west), Yakubu Dogara from Bauchi (North-east), Femi Gbajabiamila from Lagos (South-west), Mohammed Monguno from Borno (North-east), Pally Iriase from Edo State (South-south) and Israel Ajibola Famurewa from Osun State (South-west).

Following the March 28 Presidential and National Assembly elections, the six federal lawmakers, all of whom are returning to the house, won their re-election bids under the APC, which has won majority seats at both the lower house and the Senate.


Gbajabiamila is currently the minority leader in the lower chamber. Jibrin, on the other hand is chairman, House Committee on Finance. Dogara is chairman, House Services and Welfare Committee. Monguno is chairman, House Committee on Agriculture. Iriase is deputy chairman, House Committee on Legislative Outreach.

Monguno, like Dogara, has been in the House since 2007, while Iriase, Jibrin and Famurewa first came to the House in 2011. But Gbajabiamila has been in the House since 2003.

Reports have it that there is a real possibility of the APC zoning the speakership position to the North-east. Should that happens two federal lawmakers from the region stand out – Monguno (Borno) and Dogara (Yobe).

The deputy speaker is the highest position the North east occupied in the National Assembly since 1999. From 2007-2011, region produced a deputy (Usman Bayero Nafada).

However, in 2011, PDP zoned the position to the region but Emeka Ihedioha was instead elected despite the fact that Ike Ekweremadu was also elected deputy senate president. The North-east was left with nothing in both Senate and House of Representatives.

The region is the third most populous zone in Nigeria after the North-west and South west. It has the highest number of minority tribes who have always been schemed out and marginalised in the country’s power sharing arrangement. The Boko Haram insurgency is still raging and has devastated it.

In the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections, the region produced the second highest number of votes for the APC and second highest number of federal lawmakers for the party.

If the House speakership is zoned to the region, it would be a clean sweep for the country’s northern region with the president, senate president and House speaker coming from there. Even the oil-rich South south which coincidentally produced some House members from Edo State would be shut out of the country’s political equation for now.



This lawmaker who hails from Bauchi State is a highly experienced lawyer with 22 years experience of Law practice. Dogara is a Christain.

Although formerly a PDP member, Dogara led the House debate on January 8, 2012, during the first Special Session of the House of Representatives on fuel subsidy removal which resulted into street protest nationwide for eight days.

During that debate, Dogara told President Jonathan to listen to the voices of the Nigerian people who were on the streets protesting, he said: “The voice of the people, is the voice of God”.

Even though his Constituency, Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa-Balewa was a stronghold of the PDP, he, at the risk of losing his seat, was among the first set of 37 members who defected to the APC in December 2013 and led his people to join the party. Bauchi, his state gave the president-elect and the APC almost 100 percent votes in the election.



A lawyer by profession, Gbajabiamila has an outstanding record in the House of Representatives and has a good standing in the APC inner workings. Gbajabiamila is a Muslim.

He has good understanding of the House rules and with his re-election, he is going for a third term as a representative.

He is a founding member of the APC, coming from one of the merger parties, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). His political godfather, Bola Tinubu, is the national leader of the APC and has the most listening ears of the president-elect however, Gbajabiamila’s origin as someone from Lagos State, where vice president-elect, Yemi Osinbajo, also hails from could be a major impediment to his ambition.


The Edo federal lawmaker is a thoroughbred grassroot politician who has over the years steadily grown in political rank and clout, scandal-free.

He was the deputy speaker of Edo State House of Assembly where he completed his four year term without any blemish. He holds the record of being the only speaker/deputy speaker to serve a full tenure of four years in the Edo State House of Assembly without being impeached.

Iriase, a Christian was also a two time council chairman. He eventually became the secretary to Edo State government before proceeding to the House of Representatives in 2011.

He was one of the front-line politicians that took Edo State away from the PDP to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the 2007 general election.

He is a chartered accountant and holds a Master Degree in Accounting and presently the deputy chairman, House Committee on Legislative Outreach.

He is regarded as transparent and gentlemanly in his dealings.

He is a member of the National Strategy Committee of All Progressives Congress (APC) under the chairmanship of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State. The cerebral team included: John Oyegun, Garuba Gadi, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, Senators Osita Izunaso and Adetunmbi, Hadiza Bala Usman and Jimi Lawal.



He is a lawyer, currently representing Marte, Monguno and Nganzai Federal Constituency of Borno State. He is Muslim

With his re-election, Monguno will be serving a third term since the return of democracy but he was first elected into the House of Representatives in 1992 on the Social Democratic Party (SDP) platform under General Babangida era.

Between 2003 and 2007, Monguno was attorney general and commissioner for Justice in Borno State and at some point, a commissioner for Education. He is also the chairman, Borno caucus in the House of Representatives, leading 11 lawmakers.

Apart from chairing the House Committee on Agriculture, Monguno serves as a member of other committees such as Appropriation, Privatisation and Commercialisation, Public Petitions as well as Rules and Business. He is equally the leader of the Borno caucus in the House,

He obtained an LLB from the University of Maiduguri and was called to the Bar in 1990.

Monguno, many believe, has the capacity to clinch the seat having related closely and developed good rapport with most of his colleagues throughout the last eight years. Thus, he is believed to be among those that have brighter chances.



This Kano federal lawmaker, at a public, declaration, said if elected speaker, he would make public the running cost of the House of Representatives.

“The government has to cut down the cost of governance. I believe the cost of governance is part of the president-elect’s mandate, and this is mine as well”, he said.

Jibrin, a Muslim, is the first House member to publicly declare for the office of the speaker.

He said the desire to help deepen the change that had taken hold of the political space, led him to present himself to be elected as speaker of the eighth House of Representatives.

Jibrin said his experience in the economic space as well as his position as the chairman, Committee on Finance since 2011 had equipped him with a deep knowledge of public finance and the economy.

“It is precisely such depth of experience that a speaker must possess, at this critical time when Nigeria requires deep and far-reaching economic reform to weather the turmoil of declining global oil prices”, he said

Jibrin added that he had designed a three-point agenda aimed at ensuring that there exists improved performance of collective legislative duties, alongside helping the legislature to further promote its mandates on Education, Healthcare, Agriculture, Youth Development, Child Rights, the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Gender Issues and Economic Diversification.

The three point agenda, according to him, would specifically address transparency within the legislature, institutional strength and continuity in legislative business.

The lawmaker is an alumnus of the University of Abuja, Ahmadu Bello University, Harvard, London and the Swiss Business School, Zurich.

If Abdulmumin Jibrin wins his bid as House Speaker, the position of the presidency and the speaker will be from one zone. The president-elect and Jibrin are both from the North west zone. While the president- elect is from Katsina State, Hon Jibrin is from Kano State.



He is an engineer and second term legislator. He represents Osun, Atakumosa / East/ West and Ilesa East /West Federal Constituency of Osun State.

Little is known of Famurewa’s speakership bid.

Famurewa, a Christian is a member of the following committees: Air Force; Banking & Currency; Diaspora; House Services / Welfare; Housing and Habitat; Internal Security and Works

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