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House Speakership: 63 Opposition Members-elect Endorse Abbas/Kalu ticket

No fewer than 63 members-elect from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other opposition parties in the 10th House of Representatives on Wednesday endorsed preferred candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu, for the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively.

Overtnews reports that leader of the 63 members-elect from the opposition parties, Ikenga Ugochinyere, under the umbrella of Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) who made the announcement on Abuja said the Abbas/Kalu ticket was chosen based on merit and for the interest of the country.

Ugochinyere, therefore, urged other contestants to withdraw their ambition because votes will not be available for them.

He said, “It is on this note that I call on my fellow members-elect who are still in the race to stop and join the leader of the pack, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, to steer the ship of the 10th Assembly and surpass the performance and achievements of previous Houses for the greater good of Nigeria,” Ugochinyere stated.

“Our shared objective now should transcend party affiliations and partisan politics, focusing entirely on Nigeria and its progress. We want the best, and we have chosen the best, based on merit,” he added.

“I am not speaking on my behalf alone. I speak for the 63 like-minded honorable members-elect from the opposition family who have united behind a common vision for the 10th Assembly. We will be known as the TBK Group. Our 63 votes, without any dissent or abstention, will be cast for Hon. Tajudeen Abbas. In the coming days, Nigerians will come to know the identity of the TBK Group and experience our influence.”

Ugochinyere, who will represent the Ideato North/South Federal Constituency Imo State, said Abbas possesses all the necessary qualities to become the next Speaker of the House.

This newspaper had earlier on May 8 reported that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC released a zoning formula for the leadership positions in the 10th National Assembly, naming Godswill Akpabio (Akwa-Ibom/South-South) as President of the Senate, Jibrin Barau (Kano/North-West) as Deputy President of the Senate, Tajudeen Abbas (Kaduna/North-West) as Speaker, and Benjamin Kalu (Abia/South-East) as Deputy Speaker.

This, however, did not go well with other prospective members of the House who have vested interest in the positions.

The disgruntled members include the incumbent Deputy Speaker Ahmed Wase, Yusuf Gagdi, Aliyu Betara, Sada Soli, Chinedu Ogah, Miriam Onuoha, and Sani Jaji, who are challenging the emergence of the candidacy of Abbas and Kalu.

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