Alhassan Doguwa, the majority leader of the House of Representatives, made a surprising announcement on Wednesday night, May 17, 2023, declaring his withdrawal from the race for the speakership position.
Doguwa withdraws from Speakership race
Doguwa endorses Tajudeen Abbas for speakership
Doguwa disclosed his decision during a meeting held with representatives-elect at the prestigious Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.
In addition to Doguwa, two other contenders, Abubakar Maki and Olatunji Olawuyi, also opted out of the speakership race, thereby reshaping the political landscape leading up to the election.
Notable figures present at the crucial meeting included Femi Gbajabiamila, the current Speaker of the House, as well as Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu.
Doguwa clarified that he abandoned his aspiration for the speakership on the day when the All Progressives Congress (APC) nominated Abbas and Kalu for the coveted positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively, in the incoming House of Representatives.
Speaking to his colleagues, Doguwa expressed confidence in Abbas' qualifications and legislative experience, asserting that he is well-suited to lead the 359 members of the House.
The unexpected turn of events left many astounded, given that Doguwa had previously expressed dissent over the APC's choice of Abbas and Kalu.
Addressing his colleagues, he emphasised the purposeful nature of his presence at the meeting and urged them to recognise the reality of the situation.
It was widely believed that Doguwa was associated with the G7—a coalition of seven aspirants for the speakership—who had vowed to ensure that the speaker from the 10th assembly would be chosen from among their ranks.
Doguwa's decision to withdraw from the speakership race can be attributed to his adherence to the party's zoning arrangement, where he acknowledged being a beneficiary.
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