Not lesser than 74 out of 92 Members-elect from seven states that comprise of North-West geo-political zone, have endorsed Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu for the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively in the next 10th House of Representatives.
The National Working Committee of the All Progressive Congress, ahead of the June 13 inauguration of the National Assembly had released a zoning formula for the leadership.
The NWC in a statement picked Senator Godswill Akpabio from South-South as the preferred candidate for the Presidency of the Senate and Senator Jibrin Barau from North-West for Deputy President of the Senate.
It also picked Hon Tajudeen Abbas from North-West and Hon Benjamin Kalu from the South-East for the speakership and Deputy Speakership positions respectively.
At a meeting late Tuesday night in Abuja, the lawmakers-elect on the auspices of North-West Coordination Forum for Hon. Abbas Tajudeen for Speaker 10th Assembly, said they have accepted the All Progressives Congress zoning formula for the 10th Assembly leadership positions in favour of Abbas and Kalu, urging all other contestants to step down for the duo for the sake of national interest and unity.
The 74 lawmakers who were present at the meeting, thereafter issued an eight-point communiqué which was signed by the Majority Leader and chairman, North-West Caucus of the 9th House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa.
The communique read in parts, “We House of Representatives members-elect from the North-West geo-political zone comprising Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Jigawa and Sokoto States irrespective of political affiliations hereby resolve as follows:
“We perused the proposed zoning arrangement of the ruling All Progressives Congress with respect to the sharing of presiding officers of the National Assembly and concluded that it is acceptable to us in its entirety as it is reflective of the federal character principle as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.
“That the National Assembly is a critical institution in our democracy and that whoever must preside over the House of Representatives must not only be experienced in legislative affairs but must be competent and well versed in the affairs of governance of the country.”
It added, “Consequently, our decision to declare support for the candidacy of Dr Tajudeen Abass and RT Hon. Benjamin Kalu is based on their pedigree and accomplishments over the years as a legislator of note.
“That as a fourth termer with an outstanding performance as the sponsor of the highest number of Bills and motions in the House of Representatives, it is in the interest of the nation to have such an experienced legislator as the Speaker of the 10th House of Representatives.”
The group, thereafter, adopted the duo of Abas and Kalu for the leadership of the house.