Plateau State Assembly Elects Minority Member As Speaker

Newsmen reported that Honourable Peter Azi, representing Jos North-West of the All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, emerged as the new speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly in a rescheduled election.

The Assembly, Tuesday, suspended its plenary and inaugural sitting after a stalemate in the election between former speaker, Istifanus Mwansat (PDP), and Hon Peter Azi (APC), who scored 12 votes each in a 24-member House.

PDP has 13 elected members against 11 from APC. However, a member of PDP refused to tow his party line but voted for the APC candidate instead thus resulting in the two contenders having the same number of votes.

However, at the commencement of the proceedings yesterday, Mwansat willingly withdrew his candidacy, making Azi to be elected as speaker unopposed.

The reschedule election which was done at the committee room of the Assembly also saw a keen contest for the office of the deputy speaker between member representing Kanam-Kantana, Yusuf Adamu Gagdi (PDP) and member representing Langtang North central, Hon. Amos Vongtim Kumtul (PDP).
Gagdi emerged victorious, polling 13 votes against Kumtul’s 11 votes.

Honourable Azi was thereafter sworn in by the clerk of the House, Honourable Ayuba Gongu, as the duly elected speaker of the House.
Speaking to newsmen soon after adjournment of proceedings, Mwansat said he withdrew from the race in the interest of the state.

However, a member who pledged anonymity, told newsmen that the two parties reached an agreement to allow APC produce the the speaker while the position of the deputy speaker went to the PDP.



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