Speakership and Deputy Speakership hopefuls in the coming 10th House of Representatives,Hon Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Okezie Kalu on Tuesday met and got the blessings of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and former President Olusegun Obasanjo respectively.
Recall that Abbas, who represents Zaria Federal Constituency of Kaduna State and Kalu, from Bende Federal Constituency of Abia State respectively got the endorsement of the ruling All Progressives Congress on Monday to run for both offices as consensus candidates.
While the decision has generated mixed reactions amongst party faithful and members-elect, particularly those contesting for the speakership position, the duo have since set themselves on the journey for reconciliation and consensus building ahead of the June 13th inauguration.
Photographs and video recordings made available to newsmen by the Joint Task – 10th Assembly Secretariat which is currently managing their campaign indicate that both the president-elect and former President Obasanjo accorded the duo warm receptions.
It was gathered that both leaders expressed confidence in their abilities to lead the House effectively and manage the diversity therein.
It was also learnt that after giving their blessings at the separate meetings, Asiwaju and Obasanjo advised the duo to continue reaching out to other aggrieved aspirants in the contest for the purpose of calming frayed nerves, whilst also promising to intervene where and when necessary.
Also on Wednesday, Hon. Tajudeen Abass and Benjamin Kalu continued with their consultative meetings with South East lawmakers, both outgoing and incoming ones in Abuja.
Photographs made available by the Joint Task – 10th Assembly Secretariat showed the duo meeting with outgoing and incoming colleagues, amongst whom were Deputy Minority Leader of the 9th House, Hon. Toby Okechukwu from Enugu, as well as Hon. Sam Onuigbo from Abia State and a host of other elected members of the incoming House.
A source close to the lawmakers disclosed that the meeting was part of ongoing efforts to seek the support of lawmakers of Igbo extractions, both outgoing and incoming by way of advancing the one Nigeria mantra and the Joint Task vision of inclusivity and cohesion.
The development is coming barely 24 hours after a stakeholders meeting between the duo of Abbas Tajudeen and Benjamin Kalu with members-elect of various political parties at the instance of the Joint Task – 10th Assembly coalition, which was also attended by the outgoing House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Investigation revealed that at the meeting which the outgoing Speaker used as a platform to formally present the party’s choices for the offices of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the 10th Assembly, lawmakers, both returning and newly elected ones commended the outgoing Speaker for providing wise and informed counsel to colleagues with regards to the party’s choices.