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10th N’Assembly: Tinubu’s preferred candidates lead, vow not to be ‘rubber stamp’

10th N’Assembly: Tinubu’s preferred candidates lead, vow not to be ‘rubber stamp’


• ‘It’s time to get down to business,’ Tinubu tells Akpabio, Abbas

• U.S. hails Nigeria on inauguration of 10th National Assembly


• Senate will support govt’s good policies and programmes, says Akpabio 

• We’ll work in harmony with Tinubu but uphold principles of checks and balances – Abbas
President Bola Tinubu and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, succeeded in getting their anointed candidates elected to lead the National Assembly, raising concerns about the independence of the second arm of government.

In an election presided over by the clerk of the National Assembly, Magaji Tambawal, the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, polled 63 votes to defeat former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, who polled 45 votes. Jibrin Barau from Kano State emerged as Deputy Senate President without any opposition.


In the House of Representatives, the party also had its way as Tajudeen Abbas won a landslide victory, polling 353 votes as against three votes scored by each of his two challengers, Ahmed Wase and Aminu Sani Jaji.

Both Akpabio and Abbas expressed their gratitude to President Tinubu and promised to cooperate with him in ensuring good governance in Nigeria.

Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, (APC, Borno) nominated Akpabio, while Solomon Adeola (APC, Ogun) seconded Akpabio’s nomination. After Akpabio had accepted his nomination, Senator Ishaku Agbo (APC, Adamawa) nominated Yari. Jimoh Ibrahim from Ondo State seconded it.

There was a slight disruption on the floor of the Senate as Tahir Monguno (APC, Borno) raised an objection to the nomination of Yari. He claimed that the Constitution and the rule of the Senate did not permit a non-ranking Senator to be elected as Senate President.


Senators Adeola, Ndume and others supported Monguno, while Yari’s supporters kicked. The clerk overruled the objection to Yari’s nomination as he declared that there was nothing in the Senate rule book and the Constitution that precludes a non-ranking Senator from becoming a Senate President.

The sorting was interesting and both camps watched with excitement until those in Akpabio’s camp started jubilating immediately the figure of 55 was reached in their own counting.

The election to the position of deputy Senate president did not take time because there was no counter nomination to that of Barau, who had been nominated by Senator Dave Umahi and seconded by Saliu Mustapha from Kwara State.


The politics of yesterday’s election of the Senate was dramatic. The atmosphere around the premises of the National Assembly before and during the election was tense as security agencies mounted strict and rigid checks at the gates.

President Tinubu, in his reaction, called on the new leadership of the 10th National Assembly to settle down and move swiftly with the business of governance.

Rejoicing with the parliament, Tinubu, in a statement he personally signed, said “the election of Akpabio and Abbas as President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives is a good development.”

The President also congratulated Yari, Wase and Jaji for enriching the process with their participation in the leadership election. He said: “We have all been called upon and accepted the responsibility to diligently and faithfully serve our fatherland with the oath we took. It is time to get on and move swiftly with the business of governance in the service of Nigeria.

“As your president, I am prepared to transparently work with the National Assembly. Nigerians expect distinguished Senators and Honourable members to make laws and carry out oversight duties that will enhance the performance of government to achieve successful outcomes including improving their quality of life.

“In the course of our work together, disagreements may occur. When we disagree, it will not be out of malice, ill-will and quest to diminish the institution of the National Assembly or any individual member.”

MEANWHILE Akpabio has promised to work with his colleagues for expansion of the revenue streams available to the country, especially from the huge but largely unregulated natural and solid mineral resources base.

Akpabio, who spoke during his acceptance speech, also promised to engender effective oversight of the executive arm of government for responsive policies.

According to him, the expansion of revenue sources, coupled with effective oversight, which his leadership will engender to block loopholes for revenue leakages and wastages at ministries, departments and agencies, will help to shore up needed revenue for effective governance.

Akpabio also promised that his leadership will not witch-hunt his opponents in the struggle for the senate presidency, as he extended his hand of fellowship to Yari and senators who did not vote for him.

“On my part, I affirm that this leadership shall be yours. It shall be a servant leadership; it shall be an uncommon leadership. I urge you to remain hopeful, steadfast, and united. Nigerians must remember that the nation is caught up in global challenges and upheavals, which have far reaching consequences. Our Senate will remain watchful of, and will be responsive to, these events.

The Speaker, Abbas, has promised that the 10th Assembly will work in harmony with the executive arm, while upholding principles of checks and balances. He, however, emphasised that collaboration with the executive will be anchored on the principles of transparency, accountability, and respect for the rule of law.

Delivering his inaugural address, Abbas assured Nigerians and lawmakers that he won’t take the mandate bestowed on him for granted, adding: “I shall be just and fair to everyone irrespective of our perceived differences.”

Saying that the speakership campaign witnessed in the past few months was democracy at play, Abbas observed that all of that has come to pass, adding that it is time to forge ahead and work together for common good.

“Through legislation, the 10th House will promote entrepreneurship and support small and medium-scale enterprises. We shall diversify our economy and provide sustainable employment opportunities for our youth. We are aware of the challenges in our education, healthcare, and infrastructure sectors amongst others.

THE Deputy Director General, Media of the Yari Senate Presidency campaign organisation, Senator Addul Ningi, (PDP, Bauchi Central), has lauded the election of Akpabio, describing the process as free, fair and credible, without much anticipated drama. He said: “That is what makes the institution of the Senate different. The animosity and fear of what happened in the last two days completely vanished. You go into the hall and you see how people are embracing themselves and that is parliament and that is democracy.

“We have refused to be intimidated by any enforcement and that is why we said there must be an election and those who came with the idea of a theater party and the sitting government had the day. We have no problem with that, we know we are in the minority, we were in total disagreement, the election was free and fair.”

On whether the position he took was that of his party, PDP, he said it was not, but that of the minority caucus as he regretted that not all of them actually voted on the same page.

“Some people actually went to negotiate and that is parliament, but I believe in the next six months or so we are going to bind together by putting the nation first. When you come to the National Assembly, you drop the party leaning, or region.”



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