Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Ahmed Wase, on Friday, insisted he will continue to pursue his ambition to become the next Speaker of the Lower Chambers of the National Assembly. Hon Wase, who disclosed this to journalists at the Presidential Villa Abuja, after a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari, also debunked rumours about his decision to abandon the Speakership project to support Hon Tajudeen Abass.
He said, “I am in the race, and by the grace of God, I am going to conclude the race. I have not withdrawn or stepped down for anybody.” However, he argued that the National Working Committee (NWC) letter, which outlined the zoning as advisory, also allows for continued discussions on the matter.
“I am not just speaking for myself. You can’t bring a deputy senate president, but you can give us the deputy speaker role. You cannot neglect us, even though we have given one of the best outcomes in terms of voting and support to the government,” he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Speakership designate of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu said on Tuesday that the Tajudeen Abbas leadership of the 10th Assembly will build a Nigerian legislature that the Nigerian people will be proud of. He also said that they will put in place a template that will enhance active participation of members and Nigerians in the legislative business of the House.
Kalu who spoke at a media parley in Abuja also said that the new leadership of the House will be one Nigerians can trust, while upholding parliamentary sovereignty. He said there has been so much inequality in the country, saying the campaign objective of the Joint Task team is to ensure that these inequalities are addressed in a way that every Nigerian will have a sense of belonging.
He dismiss insinuations that the Executive arm of government was interfering in the selection of Presiding Officers of the National Assembly, saying everywhere in the world, political parties give policy direction to their members on the selection of their Presiding Officers, saying what the APC has done was to give a direction to its members elect on the direction they should follow based on their campaign promises. He said while ensuring balance, justice and equity, the leadership of the legislature should be based on the need to establish a system that will make the Nigerian people believe in the legislature.
He said the leadership of the House under Tajudeen Abbas and himself will engineer active participation of women and youths in the governance of the country, while the parliament will revisit all gender sensitive bills that did not see the light of day during the last constitutional amendment, adding that a lot of engagement are currently going on regarding the decision of the party and will continue until the House is inaugurated on June 13.
In a related development, the ambitions of Senators Godswill Akpabio and Jibrin Barau, for the position of the Senate President and Deputy Senate President in the 10th Assembly, has continued to receive endorsements, with the latest being the endorsement by the Governor-elect of Zamfara State, Dauda Lawal. Addressing members of the Stability Group, a group rooting for the emergence of the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State as the next Senate President, Lawal said he was satisfied with the choices of Akpabio and Barau for the Senate Leadership because of their antecedents in public offices.
According to him,” the ambitions of Senators Akpabio and Barau is what I have bought into and I have no apologies about it. I am totally in support of their ambitions because of what I know about them. Zamfara as a state is in dare need of federal government assistance and presence and I put a request before you now that you assist us to come out of this problems. We all know that Zamfara State is worst hit with insecurity and the Senate has a whole lot to do to help us out of this quagmire. We would be counting on the support of the 10th Senate to achieve this.
Earlier in his speech, Senator Akpabio thanked the governor-elect for receiving his team and congratulated him for his victory at the poll. He assured the governor-elect of the support of the 10th Senate in the areas of security, and poverty alleviation. “I thank you for this warm reception and for declaring your support for us with your Senators. The 10th Senate will work for Nigerians. That’s our promise before you today.”