The anointed candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the position of the 10th House of Representatives Speakership position, Hon. Tajudeen Abass, has said he was not a member of any radical Islamic sect as being speculated in certain quarters.
Abass also said, contrary to accusations, from his opponents in the social media, he is a Hausa/Fulani tribe from a royal family in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The ranking lawmaker stated this in Abuja on Tuesday night at a dinner organised for him by members-elect from the North West geopolitical zone.
No fewer than 74 lawmakers-elect attended the event where they also endorsed Abass as the next Speaker of the House of Representatives and Hon Benjamin Kalu as Deputy Speaker.
He said, “I want to highlight some areas of what has been going on in the social media about my identity in the past few months
“I want to use this opportunity to say that I am a Hausa man from my father’s side from Zaria and a Katsina man from my mother’s side. I’m both Hausa/Fulani from both sides.
“I also want to debunk allegations from those who are saying I have religious inclination to radical Islamic group. I want to say that I am a Royal Prince in Zaria. We don’t belong to any other Islamic sect than the Sunni.
“I have no other religious sect other than the Sunni. I tell you for those that know the North in general, a member of any sect other than the Sunni cannot even win election to any leadership position.
“Imagine somebody who has been a member three times spanning a period of 12 years can be branded a religious fanatic or a member of a radical sect. That is politics.
“Those who believe that they can only succeed by smearing their opponent’s image please stop because I believe as a Muslim that power comes from God. No matter what you do if it is not designed for you to be you can never be.”
Abass also assured Nigerians that the 10th Assembly will not and will never be a rubber stamp to the executive.
He said, “In areas where we need to cooperate or collaborate we will do the very best for us to ensure that there is that synergy.
“Where we believe that the Executive has erred, we will not be afraid to stand up and tell the the executive you are wrong in this place and we will not accept it.”
The Majority Leader and Chairman North-West Caucus of the 9th House of Representatives, Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, who read the group’s communique, said the group was in total support of the zoning of offices of presiding officers of the 10th National Assembly by the All Progressives Congress.
Doguwa said, “The House of Representatives members -elect from the Northwest geopolitical zone comprising Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Jigawa and Sokoto states irrespective of political affiliations hereby resolve as follows:
“That we perused the proposed zoning arrangement of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) with respect to the sharing of presiding officers of the National Assembly and concluded that it is acceptable to us in its entirety as it is reflective of the federal character principle as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.
“That the decision to cede the positions of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of the 10th National Assembly to the North West and South-East geo-political zones which is the most populated zone of the country is in order as it is essential for the stability and progress of the country.
“That the North-West geopolitical zone has contributed significantly to the victory of the ruling party in the just concluded 2023 General elections, particularly to the victory of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“That the National Assembly is a critical institution in our democracy and that whoever must preside over the House of Representatives must not only be experienced in legislative affairs but must be competent and well versed in the affairs of governance of the country.
“Consequently, our decision to declare support for the candidacy of Dr Tajudeen Abass and Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu is based on their pedigree and accomplishments over the years as a legislator of note.
“That as a fourth termer with an outstanding performance as the sponsor of the highest number of Bills and motions in the House of Representatives, it is in the interest of the nation to have such an experienced legislator as the Speaker of the 10th House of Representatives.
“That we appeal to other Speakership contestants to as a matter of national interest and cohesion concede and pave the way for the seamless emergence of Dr Tajudeen Abass and Hon Benjamin Kalu as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the 10th House of Representatives
“That we are committed to supporting the administration of the PresidentAsiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for a better Nigeria and this can only happen with a competent and acceptable leadership in the House of Representatives.
“In conclusion, we hereby unanimously declare our total support for the sole candidature of Dr Tajudden Abbas as the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Rt. Hon Benjamin Kalu as Deputy Speaker.”