Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has emerged the 9th Speaker of the House of Representatives in a keenly contested election between the Lagos lawmaker and Umar Bago.
The House is made up of 360 members and Gbajabiamila polled 282 votes to defeat the stubborn Bago who scored 76 votes. 358 members voted.
Bago, a Niger state lawmaker is a member of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) at the Lower Legislative Chamber.
Bago was the Chairman, Committee on NIMASA in the House during the 8th National Assembly while Gbajabiamila was the Leader of the House.
All efforts by the ruling APC to make him step down proved abortive as he insisted that he would shock those who underrated him.
Gbajabiamila, on the other hand, had the full backing of President Muhammadu Buhari and APC. He’s one of the political godsons of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Leader of the ruling party.
Before the June 11 inauguration, he visited all six geopolitical zones canvassing for support.
Before the inauguration, members who showed interest in the speakership position include Yakub Buba, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, Babangida Ibrahim-Mahuta, Nkiruka Onyejeocha, Mr Suleiman Aminu, Abubakar Lado, and Muhammed Kazaure.
At the time of this report, counting was ongoing, but fellow lawmakers including his opponent had congratulated Gbajabiamila.
Before his emergence as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, there was a fraud allegation against him, but he said he would sue the accuser for defamation.
One of the petitions against him is entitled “Stop Femi Gbajabiamila convicted in the US from becoming Speaker House of Reps” on change.org.
“Electing Gbajabiamila will jeopardize efforts to claim the recently discovered Abacha loot in the US, as Nigeria will be further classified as an unserious nation not ready to fight corruption. The image of a once convicted man is bad for the Nigeria’s parliament and could also affected Foreign Direct Investment,” the petition against him on change which already had 1,915 signatures at the time Gbajabiamila was declared the winner of the election.
Gbajabiamila is the longest-serving lawmaker in the House, represents Surulere constituency 1 of Lagos State.