Ahead of the formal inauguration of the 10th House of Representatives, 63 members-elect in the opposition parties under the umbrella of Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), on Wednesday endorsed the preferred candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas and Hon Benjamin Kalu for Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively.
The spokesperson for the Coalition Ikenga Ugochinyere, who led 62 other members-elect in minority political parties, announced the endorsement in Abuja at a World Press Conference.
Hon Ugochinyere, a member-elect representing Ideato North/South Federal Constituency of Imo State called on other speakership aspirants banking on votes of the opposition members-elect to contest against the Abbas/Kalu ticket, to withdraw from the race as votes would no longer be available for them.
According to him, “It is on this note that I call on my fellow colleague members-elect who are still in the race to stop and join the prefect of the class, Hon Tajudeen Abbas, to steer the ship of the 10th Assembly to beat the records of the other Houses in performance and achievement for Nigeria.
“The reason I say this is because the opposition party members’ votes which they are relying on for their anticipated rebellion are no longer available to them.
“Our common goal now should be beyond party and partisan politics and totally focused on Nigeria and her greater good. We want the best and we have selected the best and importantly, the selection is by merit.” the spokesperson declared.
“I do not speak for myself alone. I speak for the 63 like-minded Honourable members-elect of the opposition family who has agreed on a common vision for the 10th Assembly. We will transform into the TBK Group. Our 63 votes without any dissent or abstention will go for Hon. Tajudeen Abbas.
“In the coming days, Nigerians will come to know the identity of the TBK Group and will also feel our impact.”
Hon Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere also analysed the background of Hon Abbas and Hon. Kalu stating.
“I have taken time to show that the man I chose to project has a history. He did not just come from nowhere like we say in Nigeria. His track record shows a man with focus, who believes in hard work and is humble. He is not a money miss road politician, his background is not doubtful and to the extent the eyes of man can see, he is clean. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas possesses all the needed qualities to be the next Speaker of the 10th Assembly.
“He is enviably educated, has a Doctorate Degree and eminently and vastly experienced to preside over the affairs of the House. He is highly resourceful and is manifestly of unblemished integrity which has earned him respect amongst our colleagues at the National Assembly and obviously his Party.”
He also made clarification on the controversy that the House Rules to be adopted for the selection of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively were tempered with saying that the allegation was “falsehood”.
He pointed out that the House Rules were last printed in December 2020 and not after the 2023 election and that by the Rules the election would be by open ballot system.