Race for NASS Leadership Hots Up

The race for the leadership of the incoming 9th Assembly has commenced with several senators-elect and members-elect indicating interests to vie for different positions, Daily Trust on Sunday has learnt.

There are four leadership positions to be filled when the 9th Assembly is inaugurated in June this year, as the lifespan of the current 8th Assembly will come to an end on June 9.

The four positions are Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

The early jostling followed the outcome of the February 23 National Assembly election, where some serving senators and House of Representatives members are retaining their seats. Key positions are normally reserved for ranking members, meaning those who have been in any of the chambers more than once.

It was gathered that those interested in occupying the four top legislative positions have started making contacts among returning and new lawmakers-elect of the federal legislature.

Those eyeing the leadership positions, it was learnt, are members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which has so far garnered comfortable majority in both chambers to form the leadership.

From the results announced by INEC so far, the APC won 64 Senate seats with the PDP having 41, the Young Progressives Party (YPP) has 1. There are three undeclared seats, one each in Kogi, Plateau and Imo states, one or two of which could go to any of the parties.

The 64 seats won by the APC are more than the 61 the party got in 2015 when it formed majority at the time.

The APC has also reportedly won over 220 out of the seats declared so far in the Green Chamber. This figure is more than the 213 APC got after the 2015 elections. The PDP reportedly won a little over 100 seats so far. There are dozens of undeclared Reps seats across the states, meaning the figure for both parties could rise.

In electing the leaders of the National Assembly, a simple majority is required. Thus, it is believed that APC has the numbers to elect the four presiding officers among its fold.

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