Nigerian Lawmakers Choose Saraki, Dogara as Parliament Leaders

Nigerian lawmakers chose Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara as leaders of the upper and lower chambers respectively, at the opening of a new parliamentary session on Tuesday.

Senators appointed Saraki, 52, as President of the upper house of the National Assembly, after he stood unopposed while many newly-elected senators were absent from the chamber. Saraki, from the western Nigerian state of Kwara, replaces David Mark, who held the position for eight years.

Saraki, who worked as a doctor in Britain before returning to Nigeria and twice winning the governorship of his home state, quit the Peoples Democratic Party of then-President Goodluck Jonathan and joined the All Progressives Congress in January 2014. Constitutionally, the Senate President is second in line for succession to the national presidency, after the Vice-President.

Representing the APC, Muhammadu Buhari swept Jonathan from office in March elections, promising to purge corruption from Africa’s biggest economy, and to end the six-year campaign by Islamist group Boko Haram, which has killed thousands.

Yakubu Dogara, an APC lawmaker from the northeastern state of Bauchi, was elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, beating Femi Gbajabiamila of Lagos.

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