THE former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Wase, has congratulated Tajudeen Abbas on his election as Speaker of the House.
He also expressed gratitude to those who voted for him, those who did not, and those who wanted him but chose to vote for someone else.
At the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly yesterday, the anointed candidates of the All Progressives Congress emerged as Senate and House presiding officers, defeating their opponents who challenged the ruling party’s endorsements.
Godswill Akpabio defeated Abdulaziz Yari to become Senate President, and Jibrin Barau was elected Senate Deputy President.
Abbas had also contested against two opponents – Wase and Sani Jaji – and won his election as Speaker in a landslide, leaving them with three votes each with Benjamin Kalu emerging as Deputy Speaker.
Wase, in a statement issued today and titled ‘10th Assembly Speakership Contest: Concession and Congratulatory Message by Rt. Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase,’ stated that the former Deputy Speaker was tactically silent on the immediate past Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, who backed Abbas against him.
The statement read, “I wish to extend my sincere congratulations to Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas and Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu on their election as Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively of the 10th House of Representatives. Although we were on different sides of the political space, we have, nevertheless, always acknowledged that we were all partners in the project of deepening our parliamentary democracy.
“I believe my contest in this speakership election was much more about making a case for what I considered a lack of equity and fairness in the manner in which my party’s zoning was done much more than it was about winning.
“As a politician who has been engaging in elections since 2007 and has returned to the House for the 5th term, I verily understand that every contest must generate its necessary contentions. However, in the end, we have to come together to confront the bigger matters of stability of the Parliament and enriching Legislative Governance to deepen our collective democracy.
“In this light, I wish to once again congratulate the Rt. Hon. Speaker, Tajudeen Abbas, and Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu, on their victory and urge my supporters and well-wishers, as well as my fellow contestants, to give them all the cooperation required to achieve a stable and united 10th House of Representatives.”
Wase noted that he intends to “fervently and actively” participate in all legislative business of the 10th Assembly and would continue to proudly represent not only Wase Federal Constituency in Plateau State but Nigerians at large.
The ex-Deputy Speaker also said, “I thank my mentor and leader, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, GCFR, for his continuous fatherly support and counsel, which he has sustained from my early days in ACN till date. I am immensely indebted to you sir and will continue to be.
“I thank my constituents who have consistently demonstrated their unalloyed faith in and support for me by continuously returning me to the Green Chambers now for the 5th term to represent them. I will continue to represent you well. I thank my campaign team and supporters for their ceaseless efforts throughout the campaign. I am very much indebted to you.
“I thank all my honourable colleagues for their support and counsel. I thank those who voted for me. I thank those who did not vote for me. I thank those who voted my opponent even when their heart was with me. I am eternally grateful to you all and must say that I have been further enriched by the experience. I assure all my colleagues that I will continue to, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, show ‘Charity towards all and malice towards none.’”