Shettima steps in as aggrieved APC speakership aspirants move to produce consensus candidate

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The vice president-elect,Kashim Shettima has said that he was personally reaching out to the aggrieved aspirants of the National Assembly to have a common ground with the parties endorsement, while he warned against the consequences of having a rancorous National Assembly.

This is as the aggrieved aspirants vying for the Speaker of the House of Representatives are moving to produce a consensus candidate to tackle Tajudeen Abbas’s nomination.

Muktar Betara, one of the aspirants for the speakership, stated this on Friday, May 12, during the official declaration of Idris Wase.

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Recall that the aggrieved lawmakers- Betara, Wase, Aminu Jaji, Alhassan Doguwa and Sada Soli formed a coalition to battle Tajudeen Abbas, the candidate endorsed by the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In his remarks at the coalition, Betara said the lawmakers will not fight, but rather work together to produce a consensus candidate.

He said the members of the coalition will decide the next speaker.

“We can pick the candidate from among ourselves, but if we will all sit down and decide on it.

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“I assure all of you it is only one person that God would choose to be Speaker. I assure you we are not going to have any issues. We are going to agree to support one of us as the Speaker,” he said.

However, Shettima while meeting with Rep. Tajudeen Abbas (Kaduna) and Benjamin Kalu (Abia), endorsed by the APC for the position of the House of Representatives speaker and deputy in Abuja on Friday said he will meeting with the aggrieved aspirants in the party.

According to Shettima, such will stain the relationship between the legislature and executive, denying the people dividends of democracy.

Shettima said: “I will take upon myself to reach out to the other contenders. Rt Hon Betara is my brother. We are from the same subregion, we are from the same state and I have the best relationship with him. I met him too nights ago, I will sustain that.

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“Around 1 pm today I met with Rt Wase, the deputy speaker. We will continue with the engagements so we can have a rancour-free Assembly.

“When Obasanjo lost grip of the National Assembly, his first tenure of was a failure. President Buhari could do little in his first because of rancorous relationship between the executive and the legislature. What was accomplished in the last four years was because of the harmonious relationship between the executive and legislature.

“When President Goodluck Jonathan lost grip of the National Assembly when Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal emerged as the speaker, that rancorous relationship culminated into his defeat in 2015 general election. Mariam Onuoha is my friend, I will reach out to her.”

While justifying the choice of Akpabio for Senate President, the former Borno governor said: “What we are trying to avoid is a situation whereby the number one citizen, number two citizen, the number three citizen, the number four citizen, the number four citizen are all of the same faith. That will validate the negative narrative of Islamisation of Nigeria.

“That is why my principal, a fair minded individual, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu insists the number three citizen must come from the South/south (Christian). The stability of the nation is more important than any other consideration. We are talking about inclusivity.”

He also advised Abass and Kalu that if they emerged presiding officers of the House they should carry other political parties along in the distribution of committee chairmen.

In his remarks, the endorsed speakership candidate, Abass who expressed gratitude to the president-elect, Bola Tinubu and his vice assured that under them there will be harmonious legislative/executive relationship for the progress of the country.

“We are very grateful to you, the president-elect and to the party for finding us worthy for the leadership. I want to assure you that we will not disappoint the party. We will work harmoniously with the executive,” he said.

Speaking earlier, Kalu who is the spokesperson of the House thanked APC, Tinubu and Shetimma for rewarding South-east despite the abysmal performance of the party at the general election in the zone.

He said: “It is with great joy that I stand before you to say thank you. To pledge our commitment to your administration, rancour free, acrimony free administration. It’s a pledge. In your magnanimity you decided to show that cohesion was necessary for nation building. But this time, irrespective of the votes that come from the South-east, you considered cohesion and gave us deputy speaker, we are grateful.

“Sir, here we have over 153 members some of whom are outside who are in support of the decision that the party has taken. Because this is the decision that will give every part of the nation a sense of belonging.”

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