A former Deputy Speaker in the Plateau State House of Assembly, Ibrahim Baba Hassan, and first-time legislator, Abok Nuhu Ayuba, are expected to slug it out for the position of speaker in the State House of Assembly during today’s inauguration.
Baba Hassan, a fourth time legislator who represents Jos North-North, and Abok who represents Jos East are the two contenders and presently the only APC legislators from the Northern Senatorial district where the position of speaker had been zoned.
The APC won 15 seats against the PDP’s nine in the 24 member House.
However, Ezekiel Afon also of APC who represented Pengana Constituency, and who many thought was initially penciled down for the seat of speaker, died shortly after he won his re-election in March.
A member of the House of Assembly told Daily Trust, yesterday, that though Baba Hassan was the most qualified candidate being a fourth time member and having served as a former deputy speaker of the House, the religion card would most likely be used against him.
He said: “The House is divided a little because Baba Hassan is a Muslim and there are a lot of speculations going on. They may not want us to say it but it is the truth,” the legislator said.
“Afon who could have been the perfect candidate, died shortly after he won his seat, while Abok Nuhu Ayuba who is a first timer does not have the experience as the House rules require him to have at least six months experience before taking such a position,” he said.
The member, however, said since the constitution was supreme and does not stop anyone from contesting, there was the likelihood that the members would tilt towards Abok today when the elections took place.