I won’t be rubber stamp Speaker – Abbas

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By Williams Anuku

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Tajudeen Abbas has written off critics who think his emergence as Speaker of the 10th National Assembly would be to serve the interest of the executive arm of government.

Abbas, who met with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu shortly after his election at the National Assembly, on Tuesday, said the House, which he would be presiding over, would stand to challenge the executive if it finds things are going against the interests of the public.

According to the Speaker, getting elected by over 300 members of the House of Representatives across party lines was a great manifestation of the trust reposed in him.

Asked to react to his emergence as Speaker, which first appeared bleak, he said, “I don’t know what you mean by bleak, but what I can tell you is that right from day one, when we started this campaign, it was always good. But the impact of social media propaganda of some of the contestants distorted the entire picture of what was on the ground.

“But to God be the glory, today, people have seen our level of popularity and acceptance by our members. And it has put to shame those who always thought that we were imposed by the party and that we don’t have the numbers. Today, people have seen a record that has never been established in the past. 353 out of 359 members elected us. it is unprecedented, it has never ever happened in the history of Parliament”.

While commenting on the possibility of being a rubber stamp house, she said, “If you talk about rubber stamp? Look at the acceptance rate of those who have elected those across party lines, almost the entire PDP, SDP, ADC and all other minority parties voted for us. So if they feel that we are going to be rubber stamps, do you think they will elect us? no.

“They believe that we will safeguard the sanctity of the National Assembly, the legislators; we will always separate our independence and we will relate and be able to harmonize with the executive where necessary. But where there is a conflict of interest,

we feel that the executive is or wants to do something that is not in the interest of the public. They know that we’ll stand up against that”.

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