Lawmakers in Nigeria’s National Assembly – Senate and House of Representatives – are set to pick their respective leadership today at their first meeting since polls in March.
Local media outlets report that security is high at the complex in Abuja with state security officers having barricaded a number of entry points.
The Senators and Reps (as members of the lower house are referred to) were also transported from their hotel to the NASS premises in coaster buses because vehicles had been barred from entry.
It is clear that the two chambers will be welcoming new leadership after the Senate president in the 8th session, Bukola Saraki, lost his bid to return to the red chamber.
His position, Senate President, is being contested by two aspirants of northern extraction – Ahmad Lawan (Yobe) and Ali Ndume (Borno). Projections, however, show that Lawan is likely to be elected the next Senate President.
In the case of the House of Representatives, its erstwhile leader, Yakubu Dogara, got reelected but on the ticket of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. He defected along with Saraki from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in the lead up to the elections.
The race for his seat is between Rep Femi Gbajabiamila (Lagos) and Mohammed Umaru Bago (Niger). Femi had served as House Leader in the 8th House of Representatives.