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Speakership: Tinubu Settles For Abbas, Kalu As Speaker, Deputy

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There are indications that the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, has settled for Tajudeen Abbas and Ben Kalu as speaker and deputy speaker of the 10th House of Representatives, a move that leaves the North-central zone out of the top six positions.

Mr Abbas, a lawmaker from Kaduna State North-west, was picked as the preferred candidate during a meeting held on Friday afternoon at the Defence House, the official residence of the president-elect it was learnt.

Mr Kalu, a lawmaker from Abia State, South-east, was picked to balance what has now become a joint ticket.

Indications emerged on Friday that Mr Tinubu has also settled for Godswill Akpabio from Akwa-Ibom, South-south, and Barau Jibrin from Kano State, North-west, as senate president and deputy senate president respectively.

With Tinubu from the South-west and his running mate, Kashim Shettima from North-east—the presiding offices were expected to be zoned to the remaining four geopolitical zones.

However, Tinubu and his party have now zoned the Speaker and deputy senate president to the North-west, while the South-south and South-east now have senate president and deputy speaker respectively.

As things stand, there are still several aspirants in the race for the speakership but it’s unclear if they will agree to step down.

One of the aspirants from North-central, told PREMIUM TIMES on the condition of anonymity that he will not step down for anyone.

He said his consultation with leaders of the Labour Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Governor Bala Mohammed and others gives him confidence that he will win the election scheduled for 13 June.

Other aspirants like Deputy Speaker Idris Wase (Plateau), Yusuf Gagdi (Plateau), Sada Soli (Katsina), Muktar Betara (Borno) Tunji Olawuyi (Kwara), Abubakar Makki (Jigawa), Aminu Jaji (APC, Zamfara), Ado Doguwa (Kano) and Miriam Onuoha ( Imo) are yet to react to the development.

Also, several other lawmakers have indicated interest in the deputy speaker position. They include Chinedu Ogah (Ebonyi), Adewumi Onanuga (Ogun), Tolulope Akande-Sadipe (Oyo) and Francis Waive (Delta).

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Thanks For Finding Me Worthy’, Gbajabiamila Tells Tinubu After CoS Appointment

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has thanked President Bola Tinubu for “finding me worthy of being your Chief of Staff”, promising to give his best when he assumes office on June 14.

He made this known in a terse statement shortly after his appointment was made official by the President on Friday, ending weeks of speculation.

“Having spent the last 20 years in the Nigerian Parliament, and after winning my 6th term election into the National Assembly, I shall work with Mr President in discharging the enormous task ahead of him for the peace and progress of the federal republic of Nigeria.

“I shall give my best when I take office on June 14 2023 as reflected in Mr. President’s official letter,” Gbajabiamila said.

Tinubu announced the appointment of Gbajabiamila who is the current Speaker of the House of Representatives on Friday, following a meeting with the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF).

The President also named a former Governor of Benue State and immediate past Minister of Special Duties, George Akume, to serve as Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

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Gov Uzodinma Picks Nnedinma Ekomaru As New Running Mate, Dumps Deputy

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Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has picked a female lawyer, Barr. Nnedinma Ekomaru, as his running mate for the 2023 governorship election in the State.

Uzodimma had submitted the name of Engr. Ralph Nwosu, the Commissioner for Works as the placeholder, which left room for lobbying and speculations for the slot.

An aide of the Governor, who pleaded anonymity told LEADERSHIP that Barr. Ekomaru’s name has been formally submitted to the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja as Uzodimma’s running mate.

Ekomaru is married to a senior lawyer, Chief Chukwuma Ekomaru, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

She hails from Umunoha community in Mbaitoli local government area of the State and has practiced for over 20 years as a lawyer.

Women groups had called on Uzodimma to pick a woman as his running mate.

Mrs Ekomaru, until now, was not considered a politician until her husband, Chief Chukwuma attempted to govern the state under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but didn’t win the primary election.

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