Taraba Assembly elects new speaker

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The bereaved Taraba state House of Assembly now has a new Speaker.

The Assembly this morning elected Josiah Kente as new Speaker to replace Haruna Tsokwa who died after a brief illness on November 4.

Details of the election that produced Mr. Kente is, however, still sketchy. But initial reports suggest Mr. Kente, a former deputy majority leader of the Assembly, emerged by consensus after members agreed to retain the speakership position in the Southern Senatorial Zone of the state. Late Speaker Tsoka hailed from that part of the state.

Deputy Speaker Tanko Maikerifi was reportedly disqualified to allow for religious balancing in the leadership of the state. Acting Governor Garba Umar is muslim and the lawmakers believe another muslim should not be allowed to lead the second most powerful arm of government in the state.

Mr. Tsokwa died of a yet undisclosed ailment on the morning of November 4 at the Federal Medical Centre, Jalingo, the Taraba state capital.

The late speaker was a staunch supporter of Acting Governor Garba in the ongoing battle for the control of the state.

Mr. Tsokwa had escaped death by the whiskers on September 19 when suspected gunmen attacked his convoy along the Jos – Abuja road.

He escaped unhurt but some policemen in his convoy sustained various degrees of gunshot wounds during an exchange of fire between them and their attackers.

culled from premium times

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