Fake news: Dogara denies joining speakership race

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has denied joining the race for the speakership position in the incoming ninth National Assembly.

This was contained in a statement by his spokesperson, Turaki Hassan, on Sunday.

The speaker described those who he said had been campaigning for him on social media as mischief makers.

“We wish to distance the Speaker from the fake news being pushed and circulated by mischief makers and enemies of progress who want to create confusion in order to benefit and feast on it.

“The Speaker has always spoken for himself and would not be engaged in childish hide and seek games.

“When he contested in 2015, he openly sought for support and openly canvassed for votes and there is nothing stopping him from doing so now if that was the case.

“We have official channels of communication and we have not issued any statement to that effect. We urge members of the public to totally disregard the fake news being published about the Speaker,” the statement read.
Tussle

A new speaker is expected to emerge in the house in less than two weeks.

The APC leadership recently declared support for the current house leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, to become the next Speaker. The party is also supporting Ahmed Lawan as the next Senate President.

The adoption of Messrs Gbajabiamila and Lawan was condemned by some APC lawmakers including Borno senator, Ali Ndume, who also seeks to occupy the slot.

Mr Ndume has vowed to continue with his ambition, saying he enjoys the support of many elected APC senators.

There are five other members of the House of Representatives challenging Mr Gbajabiamila. Mr Gbajabiamila is however considered the leading candidate.

The APC enjoys a clear majority in the incoming House of Representatives, having won over 200 of the 360 seats

The APC is expected to produce the Speaker, but as it happened in 2015, a different candidate, other than the one endorsed by the party leadership, may contest (and win) the election.

While both Messrs Lawan and Gbajabiamila were endorsed by the party for the positions in 2015, Bukola Saraki and Mr Dogara emerged as the Senate President and Speaker of the House respectively.

The two winners later defected from the ruling APC to the main opposition, the PDP.

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