Kashim Shettima, the vice-president-elect, met with some of the House of Representatives members-elect for the tenth assembly on Friday.
The meeting with the representatives-elect, which included both returning and new lawmakers, took place at the vice-president-elect’s residence in Abuja.
The Joint Task, an alliance of eight political groups, including the All Progressives Congress (APC), organized the sit-in.
Speaking during the meeting, Shettima stated that he was “reaching out” to the candidates for the offices of speaker and deputy speaker, respectively, for Tajudden Abbas and Benjamin Kalu.
According to ABN TV, the ruling party chose Abbas and Kalu as its favored candidates for the positions of house presiding officers.
Other APC candidates in the contest, meanwhile, have expressed qualms about the party’s selections, claiming that the APC did not contact them before making the decision.
Addressing the newly elected representatives, Shettima stated that he has been talking with the candidates in the race to convince them to endorse the party’s pick.
“I will take it upon myself to reach out to the other contenders. Muktar Betara is my brother. We are from the same sub-region, we are from the same state and I have the best relationship with him,” he said.
“I met him two nights ago, I will sustain that discussion so that at the end of the day there will be no winner, no vanquished.
“Around 1 pm today I met with Idris Wase, the deputy speaker. He is someone very close to me. We will continue with the engagements so that we shall have a rancor-free 10th assembly.”
“Mariam Onuoha is my friend, I will reach out to her so that together, we can form one person.”
Shettima said the executive can only achieve little without the support of the national assembly.
“When Obasanjo lost grip of the national assembly, his first tenure was a failure. It was largely enmeshed in one crisis after another. It was when he got a grip on the national assembly — not a complaint national assembly, but a united national assembly. (He was then) able to achieve a lot in his second term,” he said.
“President Muhammadu Buhari could do little in his first term fundamentally because of rancorous or the strained relationship between the executive and the legislature. What was accomplished in the last four years was because of the harmonious relationship between the executive and legislature.”
“When President Goodluck Jonathan lost grip of the national assembly when Aminu Waziri Tambuwal emerged as the speaker, that rancorous relationship eventually culminated in his defeat in the 2015 general election.“
In his remarks, Abbas said he and Kalu will not “disappoint”.
“We will discharge our responsibility with utmost efficiency,” he said.
“After June 13, if God makes it possible, we will be the ones on the ring of leadership that the national assembly will be exceptionally guarded.”
“We want to assure you that we will work harmoniously together. We will corporate in the best way possible.”