· Abbas, Kalu favoured by Wike
By Ignatius Chukwu
All Progressives Congress (APC)’ s Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu have found favour in Peoples Democratic Party’s chieftain, Nyesom Wike, to become Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively in the coming House of Representatives.
By this, Wike has continued in his new found path of installing an APC government at all levels in Abuja while staying on and probably getting support to keep his PDP team intact at home.
Gov Wike’s canvassing for APC candidates in NASS was made public by Rivers Government media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, who earlier disclosed Wike’s support for Godswill Akpabio.
Ebiri stated Friday, May 26, 2023, that Rivers State governor has canvassed support for APC preferred choices for speaker and deputy speaker of the 10th Assembly.
The governor was quoted by his media aide to have said that the emergence of Abbas and Kalu as speaker and deputy speaker will guarantee a rancour-free relationship between the House of Representatives and the executive.
Gov Wike made these remarks when the Chairman of the Joint Task Force-10th Assembly Committee, a multi partisan forum, led by Usman Bello Kumo, visited him at his country home in Rumuepirikom on Friday to solicit support for Abbas and Kalu.
The Rivers State governor reckoned that since Abbas and Kalu were the preferred choice of the ruling APC and the president-elect, supporting their emergence as speaker and deputy speaker would save the country the unnecessary stress of power conflict between the executive and the legislative branches of government.
“You saw what happened in 2015, when those who emerged as the leaders of National Assembly were not working in tandem with Mr President. That caused a lot of crisis. Nigerians are suffering.”
He further added, “For the interest of Nigeria, let’s allow the people that the leadership of the ruling party and the president-elect have chosen so that there will be no excuses those given to them by others did not want to support their policies.”
The governor insisted that for any president to succeed in office, he must have a cordial and working relationship with the National Assembly. According to him, in the absence of mutual relationship between the two arms of government, the masses were bound to suffer the consequences.
Gov Wike assured the Joint Task Force-10th Assembly Committee that he would galvanise support for Abbas and Kalu.
“Just go home and sleep. I’m not the kind that will support you at the back. I will be in the forefront, by the time I leave office on Monday we’ll start the work fully.”
The Rivers State governor maintained that he would not renege on his commitment to ensure the successful election of Abbas and Kalu as speaker and deputy speaker of the 10th Assembly.
“I am not going to support anybody other than him (Abbas). And nobody can direct me that their party said no. I and my people in our own party, we have our own people in our own party, who are supporting you and we are prepared for it.”
He, however, urged the 10th Assembly to consider as a matter of national urgency, a review of the country’s procurement law, which he blamed for the numerous abandoned federal government projects across the country.
Speaking earlier, Abbas told the governor that they were in Rivers State to solicit his support ahead of the election of the leadership of the 10th National Assembly on the 13th of June, 2023.
“Our vision is to have one Nigeria, a united Nigeria, and we felt that our party alone cannot do it if we want to succeed. That is why we have preached to all the parties, convince them to come so that we can have a coalition government.
“I want to assure you, the 10th Assembly under our leadership will further unify Nigeria, further bring dividends of democracy to Nigeria. And we hope the people of Rivers through their representatives will record more improvement in legislation, more improvement in democratic dividends.”
Similarly, Kalu assured Gov Wike that if they emerged as leaders of the 10th Assembly, they would strive for a rancour-free relationship between the National Assembly and the executive.
Leader of the Task Force-10th Assembly, Kumo described Abbas and Kalu as the most qualified to lead the House of Representatives.
According to him, Abbas alone within four years sponsored 78 bills, 21 of them already assented to by the president of Nigeria.