An aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the speakership position in the House of Representatives for the incoming 10th Assembly, Tajudeen Abbas, has said he will not be or lead a rubber stamp parliament if he emerges Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Abbas who represents Zaria federal constituency of Kaduna State, North-West zone, is reportedly favoured by both the President-elect Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the party to become the Speaker of the next House of Reps.
Speaking during a Channels TV programme, Politics Today, Abbas said he has what it takes to be the Speaker.
He said, “What makes them think that I am weak? The fact that you don’t come out to insult anybody? The fact that you are a team player; you play along with everyone, you live along with everyone in the House? You don’t have enemies, you have only friends? The fact that you contribute more than any other member in the 9th Assembly? That you are qualified based on public and private sectors’ experience? Does that make me weak?
“Look, what people need to understand is to go and look at the pedigree and antecedents of each and every member. The issue of being rubber stamp is neither here nor there. If you recall in 2019, was it not the president-elect then, Muhammadu Buhari, that pushed for Femi and the Senate President, Lawan, to become the candidates of the party? Are we saying today, after almost four years that those people are the rubber stamps of the Executive? No.”
He also stated that his pedigree and credentials were what set him apart from others and also the fact that the president-elect was impressed by him.
He is known as the House of Reps member who sponsored the most bills in the outgoing 9th Assembly with about 78 bills to his name.
Out of the 78, 21 of those bills were assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking on about his meeting with Bola Tinubu, the president-elect, like other aspirants, he said , “Each and every contestant for the speakership has at one time or the other visited the president-elect and also visited the members of the NWC for their blessings. I, just like most of them, had cause to visit the president-elect last week, to present myself, to introduce myself, and to also inform him of my aspiration to be the Speaker of the 10th Assembly.
“We had a very engaging discussion with him. At the end of the day, I can tell you he was very happy with my candidature. He prayed for me and also told me that he would do everything possible to ensure that if it is North West that this particular position is zoned to, he would ensure that justice and fairness are done to all the contestants.
“I want to believe, first and foremost, that he is impressed with my legislative contributions. I have told him I’ve been in the National Assembly since 2011, and I’ve been there now for almost 12 years back-to-back, and I’ve contributed in sponsoring a lot of bills.”
“In the 8th Assembly, I sponsored 43 bills, which gave me the number 1 ranking in terms of those who sponsored bills. And in the 9th Assembly, I had the singular honour of sponsoring 74 bills, out of which 21 have been assented to by Mr. President, and they’re now laws in the country.”
About his academic background, he said that he was primary school teacher, head of accounting in a polytechnics and even a found head of accounting of the Kaduna State University.”
Speaking on on his meeting with Tinubu he stated that the president-elect was impressed with his credintials.
“I told him my private sector experience, that I was a marketing manager with the Nigerian Tobacco Company, which is now the British American Tobacco. I told him my journey there up to the time when I became the general manager of a subsidiary company before I resigned and went back to the classroom in 2001.
“He is impressed with my credentials, the places that I have worked, particularly in the public and private sectors, and also my modest contributions in the National Assembly. I’m sure whatever makes him to say he is happy with me is probably because of those experiences, the qualifications that I have.”
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