BREAKING: 63 Opposition Members-elect Endorse Abass for House Speakership

Sixty three members-elect from opposition parties in the 10th House of Representatives have thrown their support behind the chosen candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu, for the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively.

POLITICS NIGERIA reports that the endorsement was announced by Ikenga Ugochinyere, the spokesperson for the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), who led a group of 62 other members-elect from minority political parties.

The announcement took place in Abuja on Wednesday.

Ugochinyere, who will represent the Ideato North/South Federal Constituency, called upon other speakership aspirants who were banking on the votes of opposition members-elect to contest against the Abbas/Kalu ticket, urging them to withdraw from the race as the votes would no longer be available for them.

“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 declared.

According to the CUPP spokesperson, Abbas possesses all the necessary qualities to become the next Speaker of the House.

Ugochinyere highlighted his impressive educational background, including a Doctorate Degree, as well as his extensive experience and unblemished integrity, which has earned him respect among colleagues in the National Assembly and within his own party.

Ugochinyere further noted that in the 8th Assembly, Abbas had introduced 43 bills, making him the third highest in terms of bill proposals. In the 9th Assembly, he increased his record, presenting 74 bills.

The 10th National Assembly is set to be inaugurated on June 13, when the presiding officers of the Senate and the House will be adopted or elected. Ahead of this event, various pressure groups, comprised of intra and inter-party alliances, have emerged within the House.

Recall that on May 8, 2023, 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.

As a result, a group of disgruntled speakership aspirants, including the incumbent Deputy Speaker Ahmed Wase, Yusuf Gagdi, Aliyu Betara, Sada Soli, Chinedu Ogah, Miriam Onuoha, and Sani Jaji, emerged to challenge the candidacy of Abbas and Kalu.

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