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Battle For House Speaker Between APC, Opposition Parties Heats Up As ‘Greater Majority’ Denies 74 Members Endorsed Abbas, Kalu

Members of the ‘Greater Majority’ have denied that 74 out of 92 Members-elect from seven states that comprise the North-West geo-political zone, have endorsed Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu for the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker in the next 10th House of Representatives.

overlay-cleverTwo members of the group who spoke separately with THE WHISTLER on Wednesday under condition of anonymity said “the figure being bandied about in the media is fake, nothing but fake.”

The North-West Coordination Forum for Hon. Abbas Tajudeen for Speaker of 10th Assembly had released a statement on Wednesday after their meeting on Tuesday night in Abuja, saying 74 out of 92 Members-elect from seven states in the North-West adopted Abbas and Ifeanyi Kalu.

This was in consonance with the announcement of the National Working Committee of the All Progressive Congress, ahead of the June 13 inauguration of the National Assembly.

The party had zoned the position of the speaker to the Northwest and deputy speaker to the Southeast.

The decision has been trailed by protest with the Southeast caucus in particular incensed that it was Kalu that was announced.

Also, the zone is demanding for the position of the speaker, naming high ranking members-elect from the zone including Princess Miriam Onuoha, a female for the sake of inclusiveness and affirmative action, as it preferred choice.

The NWC had also picked Senator Godswill Akpabio from South-South as the preferred candidate for the Senate President and Senator Jibrin Barau from North-West as his Deputy.

Nevertheless, the group in a communiqué signed by the Majority Leader and Chairman, North-West Caucus of the 9th House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa named members-elect from Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Jigawa and Sokoto States as those who have endorsed Abbas through multi-partisanship.

But a member-elect coordinating the G-7 opposing the endorsement of Abbas and Kalu said, “Don’t listen to them. It’s not true. They are dreaming.

“Our group keeps swelling up and it involves both the ruling APC members-elect and opposition parties from the Northwest. Disregard their assertion.”

Another member-elect from Cross River said, “What I can say is their number is not like that. I was aware of that meeting. There was a member-elect there who gave us their number.

“Please my brother, this is politics and anybody can say anything to try to weaken the other. We are solid and we would determine who emerges Speaker and deputy.

“Ignore them,” he said.

The ‘Greater Majority’ with membership from the opposition which has 181 legislators-elect insists the harmony among the group would eventually lead to three of the leading candidates to step down for one of them.

In association with the opposition parties, the splinter APC members-elect who formed the G-7 are insistent on splitting the leadership of the House between their group and the leading opposition party in the House.

The House would be convened by the president on June 13 as the presiding officer of the House, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila would in less than 24 hours adjourn the House sine die.

First Bank

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