Few days before the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly, the support base of Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu, the anointed candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, for the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker, has been swelled with the endorsements and support of 106 out of 141 members-elect from North-West and North-Central geo-political zones of the country.
While 72 out of 92 lawmakers-elect from the North-West zone endorsed Abbas and Kalu and 32 out of 51 North-Central members-elect followed suit.
The declaration of support happened at meetings held separately on Wednesday in Abuja by the North-West and North-Central members-elect, which involved all the states on a zonal basis.
The South-South and North-East zones are expected to hold theirs this Wednesday evening while South-East and South-West zonal meetings will be held on Thursday.
Briefing journalists on the progress so far, the Communication Adviser to the Tajudeen-Ben Kalu Group, TBK and lawmaker-elect for Ideato North/South Federal Constituency of Imo State, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, described the success recorded so far as a victory for the going quest to build a stable, strong, united, harmonious and all-inclusive parliament that will deliver on life-changing people’s legislation that will help to deliver on the Renewed Hope agenda of the present administration.
According to him, the massive support from all zones and ethnic and religious divides was clear evidence of members’ commitment to seeing Nigeria move forward and an indication of a significant buy-in into the Abbas and Kalu message of unity and competence rooted in inclusiveness and teamwork.
Ugochinyere described Abbas and Kalu’s legislative competence and capacity, plus their unrelenting reach out and door-to-door engagement with members-elect, as one of the reasons for the across-board acceptance.
He said the commitment of the Abbas/Kalu to a people’s 10th National Assembly leadership was not in doubt, as shown by the readiness of the duo to carry every member along in the quest to deliver on the agenda for a people’s parliament that will help in realising the Renewed Hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
According to him, the Abbas and Kalu’s team spirit and unity are the first of their kind in the leadership race, with a Speaker and Deputy Speaker running together with a clear agenda for the members and the country.
He, therefore, urged other aspirants to jettison their ambitions, and support the duo towards delivering a people-oriented 10th National Assembly.
He expressed optimism that Abbas and Kalu’s commitment will help deliver the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Tinubu and also ensure a working and independent parliament, which endeared them to the lawmakers-elect, who agree that the 10th NASS needs competent leadership with team spirit, unity, and inclusivity, which the duo represent.
“After Abbas and Kalu presented their roadmap to the lawmakers-elect from the two regions, they rose in their different zonal engagements with them and resolved to vote for the duo in a landslide. They praised the legislative competence of Abbas and Kalu, which saw them move over 100 bills that have already been signed into law, and said the 10th NASS couldn’t miss such men with an iroko-style legislative capacity rooted in teamwork, inclusiveness, and humility.
“They appreciated Abbas and Kalu’s unrelenting engagement with lawmakers with opposing views that they reached out to, and extending hands of fellowship is something worthy of commendation. The odds are in their favour in winning the election come June 13th with the gale of endorsements flying in from all corners.
“Currently, 106 out of 141 lawmakers-elect from North West and North Central (72 out of 92 lawmakers-elect from the North West zone and 32 out of 51 North Central lawmakers) have declared their support at the ongoing zonal caucuses meeting by Abass and Kalu.
“In the coming days, we are optimistic that more members-elect will declare their support for the duo,” he stated.