10th NASS: 107 Reps-elect from opposition are with us — Abbas


…as Zulum, Lalong, Mohammed urge the APC speakership candidate, deputy to carry colleagues along

By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja

The preferred speakership aspirant in the incoming House of Representatives, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas has boasted of having about 107 members from the opposition parties to swell his camp and possible victory at the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly on June 13.

Abbas made the disclosure while on a campaign visit to the outgoing Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong in his Abuja residence.

His campaign trail which had the presence of his running mate, Hon. Benjamin Kalu and the convener of the Joint Task, a group of members-elect from across 8 political parties that won seats at the parliament, Hon. Usman Kumo had birthed at Lalong’s place to seek his assistance.

It will be recalled that Plateau State located in the north-central geopolitical of the country had two major aspirants in the persons of Hon. Idris Wase and Yusuf Gagd for the coveted speaker’s position.

His words: “So, we are here your excellency, in spite of the fact that you have two candidates, to plead with you to support our course, because our course is a Nigerian course. We are a Unity project member here. We have membership across all 8 political parties. And I can tell with confidence, sir, that our last count as at yesterday (Sunday), we have 107 minority party members onboard this project.”

Speaking earlier, Governor Lalong told the aspirants to carry the zone along if they win.

He said: “So, let me first congratulate all of you for winning your elections, and also congratulate your supporters who made you win the elections. It’s not easy. And you know that if you have been in politics, you will know that politics is about loyalty. Politics is about being obedient. Not the other obedient (laughs). Being obedient to your leaders, our own leaders. And being respectful to the party. So, when we finish like this there are bound to be different opinions, there are bound to be different interests. I was also a legislator. I was just sharing with him how I became the speaker.

“As DG campaign, I was very loyal, and I remain loyal to the President-elect who was my boss and also the Vice President-elect and also to the leader of the party for now, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“So, today we have elected a President, and have elected a Vice President. Definitely, their words will be our wisdom. So, I will say that I have listened to you. I can say you are even the first person to have come to me, inspite of the fact that I have two of my own that also indicated interest. But I granted you audience to see you. And I saw you. When I said I saw you, you know what I mean. But if you become the Speaker and deputy, look at some of our interests too in the North Central Zone. Not that they are crying, they are crying on our behalf. So if you get it, please don’t forget us in the North Central. But as I have received this message, I want to assure you that I will carry it forward. Even in the absence of the President-elect the Vice President-elect is already moving and the DG must support him for us to move forward”.

In a related development, the Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum also charged the aspirants who paid a visit to him in Maiduguri to be magnanimous in victory if they secure the mandate of their colleagues.

“Most importantly, I urge you to look into the issues of political corruption in Nigeria when you take over the mantle of leadership at the National Assembly. We have unlimited resources in Nigeria but endemic corruption will not let us see the benefits of what the people have been blessed with by God. And if we keep glossing over the issue of corruption Nigeria will continue to go around in a circle without achieving anything meaningful in terms of development or advancement.

“Another thing that I want to implore you is to extend hands of fellowship to other aspirants seeking the same position when by God’swilling you get there. I’m happy that we have opposition parties in this movement, we have PDP and other opposition parties supporting you. So carry everyone along in your leadership.

“Inclusivity is very important. Plus Don’t distribute the cake now, because if you do, you won’t be fair to everybody. Wait for all the grievances to be settled and frayed nerves calmed before you do that. As people from Borno, we would have been very happy and proud to have both the VP and Speaker. But since the party has endorsed you and the President and VP-elect have endorsed you, in Sha Allah you’ll be the Speaker and Deputy Speaker. But don’t do a winner takes all. Make sure you form a unity leadership and a united House for the purpose of having a common front for the benefit of Nigerians”, Zulum said.

Also speaking to journalists after an hour-long meeting with the aspirants behind closed doors, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State stressed the importance of showing respect for constituted authority, promising to discuss with the members-elect from the State.

“I’m not in a position to assess the candidates. As a politician, I know he’s the endorsed person by the President-elect and the Vice President-elect, and as someone who has a lot of experience in democracy and parliamentary practice, I know there should be respect for constituted authority. I know there should be synergy between the executive and the legislature. And that is what is typified by this endorsement that I should advise my members-elect to look positively into because I know that at the end of the day, they are going to be independent and they’re going to work to enhance the welfare and independence of the legislature under any leadership.

“And of course, it is not my business to know who was endorsed but it’s my business to see that there’s peace, there’s collaboration, there’s synergy between the two arms of government and of course my legislators (members-elect) are also going along with the winning team, ensuring that Bauchi is in the scheme of things and not excluded.

“Hon. Abbas, of course, I have seen his pedigree, I’ve seen his resumé and I have seen the support of the federal government, definitely, we will sit down with my legislators (members-elect) and we will take a decision,” the governor said.

Source Link: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2023/05/10th-nass-107-reps-elect-from-opposition-are-with-us-abbas/

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