Shettima Warns against Rancorous Parliament 

*says Jonathan lost 2015 election 

because of Tambuwal’s emergence

*Abass, Kalu pledge harmonious legislative/executive relationship

Udora Orizu in Abuja 

The Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima, has warned against the consequences of having a rancorous National Assembly as it will strain the relationship between the legislature and executive, denying the people dividends of democracy.

Shettima gave the warning when Tajudeen Abbas (Kaduna) and Benjamin Kalu (Abia), endorsed by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the position of the House of Representatives speaker and deputy speaker respectively met with him Abuja Friday evening.

The meeting was at the instance of the joint task group of the 10th House, comprising members of all the political parties with members-elect into the green chamber at the February 25 general election.

Addressing the lawmakers numbering over 150, Shetimma said former President Goodluck Jonathan lost the 2015 election as a result of a rancorous following the emergence of Aminu Tambuwal as speaker of the House against his party’s wish.

Since APC gave a nod to the endorsement of Abass and Kalu for the position of House speaker and deputy as well as Godswill Akpabio (Akwa/Ibom) and Barau Jibrin (Kano) for Senate president and deputy by Bola Tinubu, the president-elect, there has been protest by some aspirants.

The aspirants for the speaker who have protested endorsement at the APC National Secretariat include 

the deputy speaker, Idris-Wase; the chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Muktar Betara, Yusuf Gagdi (Plateau), Miriam Onuoha (Imo), Sada Soli (Katsina) and Sani Jaji (Zamfara).

Those for the Senate were Abdullaziz Yari (Zamfara), Orji Kalu (Abia),  Sani Musa (Niger) and  Osita Izunaso (Imo) who was unavoidably absent.

While the party’s National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu said the party will go back to the drawing board, the vice president-elect said he was reaching out the aggrieved aspirants to have a common ground.

Shettima said: “I will take upon myself to reach out to the other contenders. Rt Hon Betara is my brother. We are from the same subregion, we are from the same state and I have the best relationship with him. I met him too nights ago, I will sustain that.

Around 1pm today I met with Rt Wase, the deputy speaker. We will continue with the engagements so we can have a rancour free Assembly. 

“When Obasanjo lost grip of the National Assembly, his first tenure of was a fairlure. President Buhari could do little in his first because of rancorous relationship between the executive and the legislature. What was accomplished in the last four years was because of the harmonious relationship between the executive and legislature. 

“When President Goodluck Jonathan lost grip of the National Assembly when Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal emerged as the speaker, that rancorous relationship culminate into his defeat in 2015 general election. Mariam Onuoha is my friend, I will reach out to her.”

While justifying the choice of Akpabio for Senate President, the former Borno governor said: “What we are trying to avoid is a situation whereby the number one citizen, number two citizen, the number three citizen, the number four citizen, the number four citizen are all of the same faith. That will validate the negative narrative of Islamization of Nigeria.

“That is why my principal, a fair minded individual, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu insist the number three citizen must come from the South/south (Christian). The stability of the nation is more important than any other consideration. We are talking about inclusivity.”

He also advised Abass and Kalu that if they emerged presiding officers of the House they should carry other political parties along in the distribution of committee chairmen.

In his remarks, the endorsed speakership candidate, Abass who expressed gratitude to the president-elect, Bola Tinubu and his vice assured that under them there will be harmonious legislative/executive relationship for the progress of the country.

“We are very grateful to you, the president-elect and to the party for finding us worthy for the leadership. I want to assure you that we will not disappoint the party. We will work harmoniously with the executive,” he said.

Speaking earlier, Kalu who is the spokesperson of the House thanked APC, Tinubu and Shetimma for rewarding South/East despite the abysmal performance of the party at the general election in the zone.

He said: “It is with great joy that I stand before you to say thank you. To pledge our commitment to your administration, rancour free, acrimony free administration. It’s a pledge. In your magnanimity you decided to show that cohesion was necessary for nation building. But this time, irrespective of the votes that come from the South East, you considered cohesion and gave us deputy speaker, we are grateful. 

“Sir, here we have over 153 members some of whom are outside who are in support of the decision that the party has taken. Because this is the decision that will give every part of the nation a sense of belonging.”

In his opening remarks, Usman Kumo, the chairman of joint task said they were out to ensure that there is a rancour free 10th Assembly for good governance to thrive by ensuring that the resolution of the ruling party is implemented.

“In the 10th Assembly we  will try to work harmoniously with the executive. In the two different instances 7th Assembly, in the 8th Assembly budget were not implemented because they were attacked. So if you’re not in the good book of the executive, your budget, your constituency intervention capital projects cannot see the light of the day. But in the 9th Assembly, we are committed to work harmoniously with the executive, he said.

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