Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, a candidate for speaker of the House of Representatives in the upcoming 10th Assembly and a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has stated that if elected, he will not be or lead a rubber stamp House.
He stated this during his appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today. He noted that the president-elect was pleased by his credentials and pedigree, which distinguished him from the other candidates.
The president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the ruling party had favoured Abass, who represents the Zaria federal district in Kaduna State’s northwest zone, to become the speaker of the next legislature.
With roughly 78 measures, Abbas is recognized as the highest bill sponsor in the 9th Assembly, which is now adjourning. President Muhammadu Buhari had given his approval to twenty-one of the legislation.
He said: “Each and every contestant for the speakership has at one time or the other visited the president-elect and also visited the members of the NWC for their blessings. I, just like most of them, had cause to visit the president-elect last week, to present myself, introduce myself, and to also inform him of my aspiration to be the Speaker of the 10th Assembly.
“We had a very engaging discussion with him. At the end of the day, I can tell you he was very happy with my candidature. He prayed for me and also told me that he would do everything possible to ensure that if it is North West that this particular position is zoned to, he would ensure that justice and fairness are done to all the contestants.
“I want to believe, first and foremost, that he is impressed with my legislative contributions. I have told him I’ve been in the National Assembly since 2011, and I’ve been there now for almost 12 years back-to-back, and I’ve contributed to sponsoring a lot of bills.
“In the 8th Assembly, I sponsored 43 bills, which gave me the number 1 ranking in terms of those who sponsored bills. And in the 9th Assembly, I had the singular honour of sponsoring 74 bills, out of which 21 have been assented to by Mr. President, and they’re now laws in the country.
“Besides that, I went to tell him where I come from, my academic background, and that I was a teacher in primary school. I was the head of an accounting department of a polytechnic from 1989 to 1993. I was also a head of banking and finance at a polytechnic again between 2003 and 2005. I was the founding head of accounting at the Kaduna State University.
“I told him my private sector experience, that I was a marketing manager with the Nigerian Tobacco Company, which is now British American Tobacco. I told him about my journey there up to the time when I became the general manager of a subsidiary company before I resigned and went back to the classroom in 2001.
“He is impressed with my credentials, the places that I have worked, particularly in the public and private sectors, and also my modest contributions to the National Assembly. I’m sure whatever makes him say he is happy with me is probably because of those experiences, and the qualifications that I have.
“What makes them think that I am weak? The fact that you don’t come out to insult anybody? The fact that you are a team player; you play along with everyone, you live along with everyone in the House? You don’t have enemies, you have only friends? The fact that you contribute more than any other member in the 9th Assembly? That you are qualified based on public and private sectors’ experience? Does that make me weak?
“Look, what people need to understand is to go and look at the pedigree and antecedents of each and every member. The issue of being rubber stamp is neither here nor there. If you recall in 2019, was it not the president-elect then, Muhammadu Buhari, that pushed for Femi and the Senate President, Lawan, to become the candidates of the party? Are we saying today, after almost four years that those people are the rubber stamps of the Executive? No.”