Members-elect from various opposition parties have unanimously chosen Tajudeen Abass and Benjamin Kalu as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively.
Bellnewsonline.com reports that this decision was endorsed by the Minority Forum, a crucial component of the minority caucus, during their inaugural meeting held on Monday evening in Abuja.
The opposition parties in the house are namely the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP), New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Young Progressives Party (YPP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), and African Democratic Congress (ADC).
According to the communique announcing their support for Abass and Kalu, the forum took the decision after careful deliberations and interactions with all the aspirants vying for the positions of speaker and deputy speaker.
Idu Igariwey, the Chairman of the Minority Forum, emphasised in the communique that the forum is determined to play a prominent role in shaping the leadership of the 10th Assembly. He stated that Abass and Kalu were chosen due to their demonstrated qualities of fairness, equity, and their commitment to providing an inclusive platform for all political parties represented in Parliament.
He said: “We hereby resolve to support the duo of Mr. Tajudeen Abass and Mr. Benjamin Kalu as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives,” announced Igariwey.
He further added, “In the next few days, we will convene a larger caucus of the minority parties to discuss and finalize the official adoption of the speaker and deputy speaker designates for the 10th Assembly of the House of Representatives.”
Igariwey urged all members-elect of the 10th assembly to unite in electing Abass and Kalu as the presiding officers of the House on June 13.
Recall that the All Progressives Congress (APC), the ruling party, had already thrown its weight behind Abass and Kalu for these leadership roles. However, this endorsement has faced opposition from other contenders and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).