President Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday urged elected members of the National Assembly to support Senator Godswill Akpabio (APC, Akwa Ibom) to become the Senate president and Hon. Tajudeen Abbas (APC, Kaduna) as speaker of the House of Representatives.
Tinubu said this when he met a joint session of the National Assembly member-elect comprising senators and members of the House of Representatives across all parties.
The meeting took place at State House Conference Centre, Abuja.
Multiple sources at the meeting said that Tinubu, while calling for a common front devoid of sentiments to salvage Nigeria, advised the legislators to respect the choices of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the National Assembly leadership.
Tinubu reportedly said he had respect for the individual choices of the legislators but quickly added that it would be a great honour to him, if they collectively throw their weight behind his chosen candidates, Akpabio and Tajudeen, as well as Jibrin Barau (APC, Kano) and Benjamen Kalu (APC, Abia) as deputy senate president and deputy speaker, respectively, in the interest of carrying all the geopolitical zones along.
The president tasked lawmakers to put the nation first and downplay party politics in the discharge of their duties.
Outgoing Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila and now Chief of Staff to the President, who was at the meeting, commended Tinubu for initiating the gathering, saying it will further strengthen the mutual relationship between the executive and the legislative arm of government.
The meeting was attended by Akpabio, as well as former governors of Ebonyi, Dave Umahi and Edo, Adams Oshiomhole.
Others were Senator Osita Izunaso, former governors Sani Bello (Niger), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), amongst others.
Tajudeen Abbas was also present.
But Senator-elect Abdulaziz Yari and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Wase, who have ambition to become the President of the Senate and Speaker, respectively, were conspicuously missing at the meeting.
It was, however, reliably gathered that Tinubu’s request did not go down well with some contenders, who have resolved to go ahead with the aspiration. Yesterday’s meeting was one of several engagements between the president, lawmakers and other stakeholders ahead of inauguration of the 10th National Assembly on June 13.
There are 109 senators and 360 House of Representatives members drawn from about eight political parties from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.
In the Senate, the APC has 59 senators, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 36; Labour Party (LP) eight, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) two, Social Democratic Party (SDP) two, Young Progressives Party (YPP) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) one seat each.
In the House of Representatives, members elected under the platform of the opposition parties put together, outnumbered the ruling party. The opposition parties have a total of 181 while the ruling APC has 179.
The PDP leads the opposition with 116 seats, Labour Party (LP) has 35, NNPP is third with 19 seats, APGA has 5 seats, SDP has two, ADP has two and YPP also has two seats. Tinubu had before meeting all the legislators in one place met with those elected on the platform of his party, the APC, on Wednesday.
He had also met with the 36 governors of the federation.
The post Yari, Wase Absen as President Tinubu Meets Lawmakers-Elect, Seeks Support for Akpabio, Abbas appeared first on Global Excellence Online.