A coalition of seven opposition political parties, who collectively won more seats in the last National Assembly polls, has resolved to contest for the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the 10th Assembly that will be inaugurated in June.
Despite the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) winning a majority of 178 seats, the opposition parties have a combined total of 182 seats, giving them the simple majority needed to elect any member of their choice.
Traditionally, the party with the majority of seats produces the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, House Leader and Majority Whip, but the opposition coalition, known as the “Greater Majority,” is confident in its numerical superiority and intends to go for the Speakership position.
The caucus is considering promoting a Speakership candidate from the South-South geo-political zone, and a Deputy Speaker from the North-West. The constitution of the Federal Republic grants every elected member the right to contest any position, subject to the standing orders of the House.
While zoning is permitted as an intra-party solution to the sharing of political offices, seeking to enforce such on the generality of members would be tantamount to affronting Section 50 of the Nigerian constitution, according to Mr. Victor Afam Ogene, spokesman of the Minority caucus.