The selection of Senator Godswill Akpabio, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas (PhD), Senator Barau Jibrin, and Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu as the presiding officers of the upcoming 10th Assembly has garnered attention from governors across party lines.
Following their meeting with President Bola Tinubu, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum decided to elect Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the 10th House of Representatives, respectively.
In Abuja on Thursday, Abiodun welcomed a team from the Tajudeen Abbas/Benjamin Kalu Campaign Team under the banner of the Joint Task – 10th Assembly.
According to a statement headed “Govs across parties have keyed into Akpabio, Abbas, and others’ choice for 10th Assembly leadership: Gov. Abiodun,” which was released by the Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas/Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu Campaign Office (Joint Task: 10th Assembly), this is the case.
The All Progressives Congress has selected Abbas and Kalu as its nominees.
“We (the governors) met with the president two days ago,” Abiodun stated. He informed us that the campaigns were over during our meeting. He promised to serve as president forever. He therefore asked for our cooperation and understanding.
”gThe president has the right to look for people who will make his job easier. He has determined that these are the folks he wants to work with in partnership with the party. Across political lines, we all focused on what the president said. We had our meeting after meeting him and resolved to back the president.”
The governor also disclosed that he met with the members-elect of the House from Ogun State and told them, “You’re standing solidly with Mr. President and the party. I, as Governor of Ogun State, am standing solidly behind you (Abbas).”
Abiodun also noted that God gives power to whom He wishes at the time He wishes, hence, noting that with the array of members-elect that have aligned with Abbas and Kalu, “it shows the level of support that you have.”
He added, “I want to thank all those that have keyed into your leadership. As the president reminded us yesterday (during a meeting with APC lawmakers-elect), these are positions for the party with the majority. But that party must seek the partnership of other political parties.
”You should carry along all members or most members to ensure that you succeed. Your success will be measured by the way your members take the dividends of democracy to their people. I believe Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas will provide meaningful, purposeful, meticulous, people-oriented leadership.”
The governor pointed out that there could be only one occupant of the Speaker’s chair at a time, noting that “there are other smaller chairs that your members can occupy.”
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Earlier, Abbas said the visit to the governor was to seek his support, blessing, and cooperation to be able to clinch the position and stabilise the 10th House. He promised to carry all members along irrespective of their party affiliations if he emerged victorious on June 13.
Also, the Chairman of the Joint Task – 10th Assembly, Usman Kumo, told the governor that the forum adopted Abbas after the APC leadership announced him as its choice for Speaker.
Kumo also noted that the Joint Task is at the forefront of marketing the lawmaker, who represents Zaria Federal Constituency, purely based on merit.
“We present to you a parliamentarian par excellence. The only lawmaker in the history of our democracy that sponsored 74 Bills within a 4-year term, out of which 21 were signed into law by the president. We’re marketing Tajudeen Abbas on merit. As a favour, the party endorsed him as the speakership candidate,” he said.