June 6, 2023

10th NASS: Abbas, Kalu, our best candidates for Reps’ Speaker, deputy — APC Govs



By Levinus Nwabughiogu

Chairman of Progressive Governors Forum, PGF, the umbrella body of governors elected on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Hope Uzodinma, said yesterday, that the choice of Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu for the speaker and the deputy speaker of the incoming 10th House of Representatives had their  backing and blessing.

The governor disclosed this when he hosted the campaign team of Abbas/Kalu joint ticket, led by the Joint Task –10th Assembly Coalition at Imo State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja.

He said the party made the best choice of presiding officers, pledging the governors’ resolve to actualize its vision for the preferred candidates on June 13 inauguration day.

He commended members of the coalition, drawn from the eight political parties that won seats in the 10th House, saying they made the right decision to support the joint ticket.

Uzodinma, who is the governor of Imo State, enjoined the candidates to reach out to aggrieved aspirants for a united House. 

“I congratulate you once more on the success you achieved in the last election and to commend you for coming together to form an alliance towards the speakership race. You have taken a good decision to support these two gentlemen. 

”What we are practising today is democracy and APC is the ruling party and you have a responsibility now to help the government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to succeed, and we all know that the most sensitive arm of government is the legislature and if we make a mistake with it, the other two arms will be affected.

“If the parliament is right, the government will be right, and I want to urge you to reach out to those who are aggrieved to persuade them to see the reason to agree with us. 

”When you have a situation such as this, you will tell others your party is the best and this instance, APC is in the majority and we have to demonstrate maturity by forging a common front in unity,” he said.

The governor urged aggrieved aspirants to close ranks with the party’s preferred candidates and work together to determine a purposeful legislature capable of promoting and projecting the overall interest of Nigerians, adding that Abbas’ choice by the party was not an imposition.

“There’s no such thing as imposition, it’s for the benefits of all of us, and the synergy will help us to achieve more for our people back home. 

”If you say that, it means you’re willing and ready to disagree with the majority, including the government. We know you have the power of appropriation, but when you appropriate, what about cashbacking?

“You certainly don’t want to go home after four years and tell your people you couldn’t achieve anything because you were not co-operating with the executive for their benefit but when you work in harmony, you will reap the benefits of the cooperation and your people back home will be the better for it,” he advised.

Speaking with newsmen after the meeting, Uzodimma said together with his colleagues, the forum had resolved to demonstrate maturity and work with the choice of the party, stressing that the duo of Abbas and Kalu represented the best in the present circumstance.

He said the National Assembly was not about the zone that produced a presiding officer but who was capable of handling the dynamic of current socio-economic situations prevalent in the country.

In his remarks, the speakership hopeful, Abbas expressed confidence in the ability of the progressive governors to ensure the team endorsed by the party was delivered during the inauguration of the House on June 13, adding that the hope of the common man rested on them as far as productive representation was concerned.

Similarly, the deputy speakership candidate, Kalu expressed gratitude to Governor Uzodinma for throwing his weight behind the ticket, saying he trusted his love for the parliament, being a product of the legislature himself.

Earlier, the APC speakership candidate and his deputy as well as the South East zonal chairman of Joint Task – 10th Assembly, Nnolim Nnaji, a PDP member, commended the governor for hosting the team and assuring them of their colleagues’ resolve to support the project.