By Olugbenga Salami
A day after meeting the All Progressives Congress, APC, federal lawmakers-elect, President Bola Tinubu, on Thursday afternoon, met with 109 Senators-elect and 360 House of Representatives members-elect at the Presidential Villa Abuja, where he urged the lawmakers-elect to close ranks and support the APC consensus candidates for the 10th National Assembly leadership positions.
The National Working Committee, NWC of the APC had anointed Senator Godswill Akpabio, Senator Jibrin Barau, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas and Hon. Benjamin Kalu as the presiding officers of the Senate and House of Representatives, respectfully.
The president, who was accompanied to the meeting by the Vice President, Kassim Shettima, incumbent Senate President Ahmad Lawan, incumbent Speaker and Chief of Staff-designate, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Secretary to Government of the Federation, George Akume, and other key leaders, said this was in the interest of delivering a working country and ensuring a smooth take-off of his government with the seamless election of next National Assembly presiding officers.
According to Tinubu, the four chosen ranking lawmakers for the Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, have the capacity, competence, experience and inclusive spirit and humility to deliver on a stable and progressive parliament that understands the urgency and need to solve critical national problems with parliamentary instruments.
The President and his vice spoke in a humble way with open mind on the need for lawmakers to join hands with him to deliver by supporting and electing Akpabio and Barau as Senate President and Deputy respectively, and Abass and Kalu as Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively.
While begging the aggrieved aspirants to bury the hatchet, the President assured lawmakers that he will ensure that Nigeria’s potential will be turned into reality, if they all drop their colours and fly the national colour of progress.
Thereafter, messages focusing on the need for corroboration and joint task of working to deliver on the Nigeria project were delivered.
The lawmakers-elect, who responded via Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, thanked the President for taking off on a good note by building the bridges of cohesion, inclusion and stability and assured the President that his message was well delivered and received by lawmakers-elect.
Speaking to journalists after the presidential parley, the Communication Adviser to Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu Campaign Organisation and member-elect for Ideato North/South Federal Constituency of Imo State, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, said lawmakers have accepted the message and hand of friendship extended by the President towards having a stable and united all-inclusive Parliament that will deliver on urgent national goals.
Ugochinyere said the President’s decision to invite members of the opposition alongside lawmakers of the ruling party in his quest for seamless take-off of government was a positive development that has been accepted on the grounds of people’s interest and need for courageous decisions in solving huge national problems.
He assured that lawmakers have agreed to work harmoniously with the executive arm of government on that ground, without compromising the independence of the legislature.