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10th Speaker: We are unruffled over adoption of open ballot voting – ‘G7’ member

Yusuf Gagdi (APC-Plateau), a member of the ‘G-7’ says his group remain unruffled in spite of a change in the House rules that now allow open ballot voting.

Gagdi, the Chairman, House Committee on Navy said this while speaking with newsmen on sundry issues ahead of the June 5 inauguration of 10th National Assembly in Abuja.

This is coming against the backdrop of recent agitation over a plot to doctor the House of Reps Standing Order 10th edition which adopts open ballot voting.

This was allegedly aimed at compelling members-elect to openly declare the names of their nominees during the election of the presiding officers.

The lawmaker said, in whatever manner the election was going to take, the G-7 were not bothered or scared, adding that such move had it disadvantages and advantage to both parties.

The G7 are a group of aspirants for the 10th National Assembly speaker, opposed to the consensus candidate the APC chose.

Members of the group are Ahmed Wase, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, Sada Soli, Sani Jaji, Miriam Onuhoa, Aliyu Betara and Gagdi.

Gagdi said what would befall the fate of opposition parties that would conspire against their own party’s directive to vote for the ruling party adopted candidate might not be savoury.

”Look at the composition of the House, the opposition has 182 put together, while the ruling APC has 178, in the circumstances, the comfortable majority we do not have as the ruling party. You think the 182 will not be scared of their governors and leaders who already gave them instruction regarding who becomes the speaker, ” he queried.

He said the consequences of the open ballot would affect all groups, adding that with this, the G-7 would be good to go in whatever way the house wanted to approach the election.

Section 2 (f) (iii) of the controversial clause read thus: “election of presiding officers ” every member voting shall name clearly and in the open the candidate of his choice.”

Meanwhile, a former Clerk of the House of Reps, Mr Gani Ojagbohunmi has confirmed that voting during the election of the two presiding officers of the Senate and House of Reps, were usually through secret ballot.

Ojagbohunmi stated this during the presentation of a paper titled: ‘Opening of a new Parliament: The case of National Assembly’, at the induction of new members-elect.

“Voting is usually by secret ballot. After the result has been collated, they are handed over to the Clerk of that house who shall submit the result of the division to the Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA).

He said the CNA shall then declare the member-elect with the majority of votes duly elected the presiding officer.




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