The All Progressives Congress preferred aspirant for the speakership position in the incoming House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, has expressed confidence in his campaign, stating that he has garnered support from approximately 107 members of opposition parties.
Abbas made this assertion during a visit to outgoing Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, at his residence in Abuja.
His campaign trail included the presence of Abbas’ running mate, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, and the convener of the Joint Task, a group consisting of members-elect from eight political parties that secured seats in parliament.
The purpose of the visit was to seek Governor Lalong’s assistance.
Plateau State had two major aspirants for the speaker’s position: Hon. Idris Wase and Yusuf Gagdi.
Despite this, Abbas appealed to Governor Lalong to support his cause, emphasizing that their objective is for the benefit of Nigeria as a whole.
Abbas stated, “We are here, Your Excellency, in spite of the fact that you have two candidates, to plead with you to support our cause because our cause is a Nigerian cause. We are a unity project member here. We have membership across all eight political parties. And I can confidently say, sir, that as of yesterday (Sunday), we have 107 members from minority parties on board this project.”
Governor Lalong, in his response, encouraged the aspirants to consider the interests of the North Central zone if they were to win the speakership.
He emphasized the importance of loyalty and respect for party leadership, drawing from his own experiences in politics.
The Governor stated, “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, in spite 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 related developments, the aspirants paid visits to Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum and Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed. Both governors highlighted important considerations for the aspirants if they were to secure the mandate of their colleagues.
Governor Zulum urged them to address political corruption in Nigeria, emphasizing that unlimited resources exist in the country but are hindered by endemic corruption. He also stressed the importance of inclusivity and extending fellowship to other aspirants who are seeking the same position.
Similarly, Governor Mohammed emphasized the need for respect for constituted authority and synergy between the executive and legislative branches. He assured the aspirants that he would discuss their aspirations with the members-elect from Bauchi State.