2023 GOVERNORSHIP AND
STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS
10th NASS: Confusion as Opposition parties coalition split into factions
As the race for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly heightens, developments reveal that they may be cracks in the camp of the opposition parties.
The coalition, which comprises the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Social Democratic Party (SDP), African Democratic Congress (ADC) and the Young Progressive Party (YPP), set up a 13-man committee to shop for a candidate from the minority camp.
Opposition reps divided as faction backs Tinubu’s choice for House Speaker
A break-away faction of the minority caucus of the members-elect of the House of Representatives has backed Tajudeen Abbas and Ben Kalu as speaker and deputy speaker, respectively, confirming a division in the caucus.
The decision was contained in a communique issued on Monday following a meeting of the faction of the opposition group at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.
Idu Igariwey, a ranking PDP member from Ebonyi State, and Alhassan Rurum, a member of the NNPP from Kano State, signed the communique.
“That in furtherance of our resolve to play a leading role in the formation of the leadership of the 10th Assembly and as a result of our diligent interactions with all aspirants for the position of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, we hereby resolve to support the duo of the Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas and Rt. Hon Benjamin Kalu, respectively as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“That we have found in the two persons of Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu, a leadership that will allow for fairness and equity as well as provide an equal platform for all political parties represented in Parliament to have a say in the running of the legislature and expression of alternate views on issues of public interest.
“That in the next few days we will be meeting in a larger caucus of the minority parties to discuss and formalise the adoption of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker designates of the 10th Assembly of the House of Representatives,” the communique reads.
Idu Igariwey, a ranking PDP member from Ebonyi State, leads the faction that endorsed Mr Abbas. In contrast, another group led by Fred Agbedi, a ranking PDP member from Bayelsa State, met at Fraser Suites, Abuja, and announced a plan to get a suitable candidate to back.
We’ve no candidate for Reps’ speaker, deputy – Opposition parties
Opposition parties for the incoming 10th National Assembly, Monday, said they would no longer contest for the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the incoming 10th National Assembly.
It will be recalled that the opposition parties otherwise called the “Greater Majority” had said penultimate week it was bouyed up by their numerical strength of 183 to contest for the presiding officers.
Last week, a 13-man committee chaired by Hon. Nicholas Mutu and Hon. Victor Ogene as the secretary was set up to screen would-be aspirants.
But at a meeting of the minority caucus on Monday in Abuja meant to present the report of the committee, Ogene who is also one of the Spokesmen of the opposition parties said that no one presented himself/herself for the offices.
He said: “I wish to report on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee and the entire members, as at the end of the period given to undertake that assignment, no member of the minority caucus better known as the Greater Majority stepped forward to contest for the role of presiding officers.
“Deductively, this means that we are not bidding for those two positions. However, we remain united as one caucus of the opposition parties.
“We did also meet with those aspiring for the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives but because we’ve not briefed our members, I will not go into details of our interface. But I can assure you, everyone that put him or herself running for the position appears to be qualified”.
While Ogene’s faction led by Hon. Fred Agbedi was briefing its members at a location, other members of the minority caucus led by Hon. Idu Igariwey were also meeting at another location at about the same time.
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