Aminu Achida (APC, Wurno) has emerged House of Assembly speaker in the PDP-led Sokoto State. Achida also defeated the anointed candidate of his party, Abdullahi Garba Sidi, representing Gwadabawa South Constituency.
Daily Trust learnt that the new speaker was backed by the ruling PDP in the state. The Sokoto Assembly has 16 APC members and 14 PDP members. Achida, who was nominated by Ibrahim Sarki (PDP, Sokoto North II), won by three votes having scored 16 of the 30 votes cast in the election that was conducted secretly under tight security.
Sidi secured 13 votes and one vote was declared invalid. For Deputy Speaker, Abubakar Magaji (PDP, Bodinga, North) who held the position during the 8th Assembly, was re-elected. Magaji, who was nominated by Malami Muhammad (PDP, Sokoto South II) secured 17 votes to defeat Alhaji Isa Harisu (APC, Kebbi) who had 12 votes. One vote was declared invalid.
There were rumours earlier that three of the APC lawmakers had been compromised by the ruling PDP in the state which has Aminu Tambuwal as governor. One of the APC leaders told Daily Trust on the eve of the inauguration that they suspected the members representing Wamakko and Wurno had been lured by the ruling PDP ahead of the election.
Journalists were barred from covering the inauguration and the election by the management of the House. Also affected by this decision were the leaders of the two parties who stormed the legislative house with their supporters, a situation that almost degenerated into chaos but for the quick intervention of the police who fired several tear gas canisters to disperse them.
Meanwhile, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal in his congratulatory message to the House described the emergence of the two officers as a triumph for compromise and unity of purpose which he described as the mark of genuine democracy.
In the message signed by his Director General, Media and Public Affairs, Abubakar Shekara, the governor said he was particularly pleased by the peaceful proceedings during the inaugural session. This, he added, was an indication of the character of the House for the coming four years. Similarly, APC leaders in Sokoto said they were happy their party was in control of the legislative arm of government, saying it was an indication that the party was the choice of the people of the state.