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10th NASS HoR Speaker: I Have No Preferred Candidate – Gbajabiamila

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In the build up to the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly in June where a new speaker, the deputy speaker and other presiding officers of the House are expected to emerge, the outgoing speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has denied supporting one of the aspirants, Hon. Tajeen Abbas against others.

The speaker also denied asking any candidate to step down for Abbas.

He however said he would throw his weight behind any geopolitical zone the speakership slot is eventually taken to by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The denials emanated from a meeting Gbajabiamila held at an undisclosed venue and time on Thursday with various aspirants of the speakership position, following the speculations that he was supporting Abass, the chairman, Committee on Transport who represents Zaria Federal Constituency of Kaduna State.

Recall that over 10 ranking members of the House are jostling for the speakership.

Gbajabiamila’s office only released a picture where the speaker posed with the aspirants after the meeting.

Aspirants in the meeting included Rep. Ahmed Idris Wase from Plateau State, Rep. Makki Yalleman from Jigawa State, Rep. Adamu Yusuf Gagdi from Plateau State, Rep. Benjamin Kalu from Abia State, Rep. Peter Akpatason from Edo State, Rep. Muktar Aliyu Betara from Borno State, Rep. Sada Soli Jibia from Katsina State, Rep. Tunji Olawuyi from Kwara State, Rep. Abbas Tajuddeen from Kaduna State and Rep. Aminu Sani Jaji from Zamfara State.

While there was no press statement as to what transpired in the meeting, one of the aspirants, Gagdi when contacted on the preference for Abbas said the issue was sorted out.

He said: “The Speaker did not call us to ask anybody to step down, as it’s being said. One, there are insinuations and accusation that he is supporting one candidate, that is Tajudeen Abbas.

“He called that meeting first to know how we are campaigning as individuals and whether we have problems among us the aspirants which we said no, we don’t have any problem.

“Then, some of the aspirants raised an issue that Speaker’s boys are using the Speaker’s name for that aspirant (Tajudeen Abbas), that the Speaker asked them to campaign for him. And it has begun to create apprehension and tension.

“So, some people raised that observation for Speaker to call the attention of one of his staff that is parading himself that he’s under the instruction of Mr. Speaker to support one candidate. That was sorted out.

“Secondly, Speaker emphasized to us that he is a partyman and being the Speaker, he has never done anti-party. So, he assured us that any day, any time the party zones, he will be supporting the zone that the party zoned to. This is the only thing that happened. So, anybody that tells you anything outside that, is not true”.

He also said there was no communication yet from the APC leadership on the zoning arrangements.

“You can’t have any communication from the party at this time. The Party Chairman is out of the country on official assignment with some members of the National Working Committee.

“The President-elect is equally out of the country, everybody knows that the President-elect is in France.

“So, how will the Party sit and agree on zoning if the President-elect who has a major stake in this thing is not considered?”

“Who will sit down and talk about zoning when the Chairman is not there; the President-elect is not there, the Vice President-elect is not there; most of the Governors that have stake in zoning are equally not there?” Gagdi queried.


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