Gov. Sani, El-rufai Encouraged Me To Contest For Speaker – Abbas

…Tinubu told me Abbas-led House of Reps the best, says Kaduna gov

…says Speaker stabilising Green Chamber, Kaduna proud of him

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Abbas Tajudeen, has stated that he continues to enjoy the support of political leaders in his home state of Kaduna, including from the incumbent governor, Sen. Uba Sani and his predecessor, Malam Nasir Ahmed El-rufai.

Speaker Abbas disclosed that the trio of Governor Uba Sani, El-rufai and the Minister of Environment, Malam Balarabe Abbas Lawal actually encouraged him to contest for Speaker long before the 2023 general elections.

The Speaker, who represents Zaria Federal Constituency, made this known when he received the Governor Uba Sani at his office in Abuja on Wednesday.

The governor led a high-powered delegation from Kaduna State on a courtesy visit to the Speaker. He was accompanied by Malam Balarabe Lawal, the senior counselor in his cabinet, Malam Yusuf Hamisu Abubakar, and other top aides.

Speaker Abbas said: “It is indeed gratifying that in the first month of the Year 2024, we are receiving a very important visitor – a visitor that is coming from my own dear state and coming for the very first time to pay a courtesy visit to me in my office. I am really delighted. I am very honoured, Your Excellency, and I will remain indebted for this.

“It may amaze a lot of people if I tell you (that) my governor and the honourable minister have been very supportive of my aspiration from Day 1. And it may amaze you that the whole idea of even contesting for this (speakership) position started with these two gentlemen and, of course, my elder brother, the former governor of Kaduna State (el-Rufai). The three of them and my humble self started this.

“Some people will be amazed because you hear a lot of stories in the media (that) governors don’t like speakers (of the House) to come from their state; that I, in particular, was not in good terms with my governor; that my governor was not happy with me; that we were not operating on the same frequency. This visit is a demonstration to everyone that if there were previous speakers who were not in good terms with their governors, this is the first that will set an example for others to follow.”

The Speaker added that he and Govenor Sani “talk together, dine together and share our problems together,” stressing that they have remained together even after he emerged Speaker of the House.

“There will be no obstacle that will come our way that will obstruct any communication, unity, harmony, mutual relationship between my dear self as the Speaker and my dear Governor of Kaduna State. We are a family and will remain a family,” he stated.

Speaking on Governor Sani’s earlier comment about the unity in the House across political party lines, Speaker Abbas stated that “it is true.” He added: “I have been in the National Assembly for quite a while, and I have never seen a set of people who are so cooperative and supportive of any leadership like the present members of the 10th House of Representatives.”

He stressed that members of the House demonstrated their support to him on June 13, 2023, when the 10th National Assembly was inaugurated and 353 of the 359 members in attendance voted for him to become the Speaker. He noted that the members have continued to give him all the needed supports ever since then.

“Most importantly, I need to inform you that members from our own (Kaduna) state caucus have been very supportive…and that is why you can see that even the caucus leader (Hon Amos Gwamna Magaji) who is from Southern Kaduna and from a party different from the APC – the PDP, is here” the Speaker noted, adding that governance is for all Nigerians regardless of political party affiliations.

Meanwhile, Governor Sani earlier noted that the visit was “on behalf of the good people of Kaduna State.”

He also told the gathering, including several principal officers and members of the House, that the people of Kaduna State were proud of Speaker Abbas and his leadership style.

The governor said: “The reason for this courtesy call is to express our appreciation and support for the leadership of the Right Honourable Speaker. I must say here that we the people of Kaduna State are really proud of your leadership style, of stabilising the National Assembly.

“For me as a former legislator, I know how difficult it is to lead a very complex institution like the House of Reps. But in the two or three of my discussions with His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, he made it clear to me that this House of Representatives is the best. He made it clear to me that he, himself as a former legislator, the level of debates, and the bills and motions being promoted on the floor of the House of Reps; if you look at them, they are in the best interest of Nigerians.

“I also want to make it clear here that Mr. President also made it clear to me that most of the important interventions that he decided to relate with the National Assembly; that whenever he discussed it with the Speaker of the House of Reps, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, he finds it very easier to convince the members of the House of Reps, because as we are speaking, this very House of Reps, we can see the level of relationship between the opposition and the ruling party.”

Governor Sani also expressed his amazement over how members of the ruling and majority All Progressives Congress and those in the opposition parties have been united under Speaker Abbas’ leadership.

Seven opposition parties have members in the 10th House, with three of them represented in the leadership of the minority caucus.

Present during the courtesy call were the Minority Leader, Hon. Kingsley Chinda; the Deputy Minority Whip, Hon. George Ozodinobi, some members from Kaduna, Oyo, Gombe states, among others.

Signed:

Musa Abdullahi Krishi, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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