***Lalong, Bala Mohammed admonish on Loyalty, respect for authority

The Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum has called on the Speakership candidate and deputy for the presiding officers’ positions in the 10th House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas (APC, Kaduna), and Rt. Benjamin Okezie Kalu (APC, Abia), to do something about endemic political corruption in the country when they assume leadership of the House.
Governor Zulum made the call when a campaign delegation of the Abbas/Kalu led by the chairman of the Joint Task – 10th Assembly Coalition, Rt. Hon. Usman Bello Kumo paid him a courtesy visit on Monday night in Abuja.
The governor who expressed delight in the composition of the campaign team which is comprised of members-elect from all the 8 political parties with seats in the incoming House, noted that little development is being achieved in the country at the moment due to political corruption that has robbed the people of the benefits of abundant resources.
“Most importantly, I urge you to look into the issues of political corruption in Nigeria when you take over the mantle of leadership at the National Assembly.
“We have unlimited resources in Nigeria but endemic corruption will not let us see the benefits of what the people have been blessed with by God.
“And if we keep glossing over the issue of corruption Nigeria will continue to go round in circle without achieving anything meaningful in terms of development or advancement.
“Another thing that I want to implore you is to extend hands of fellowship to other aspirants seeking the same position when God willing you get there. I’m happy that we have opposition parties in this movement, we have PDP and other opposition parties supporting you. So carry everyone along in your leadership.
“Inclusivity is very important. Plus Don’t distribute the cake now, because if you do, you won’t be fair to everybody. Wait for all the grievances to be settled and frayed nerves calmed before you do that.
“As people from Borno we would have been very happy and proud to have both the VP and Speaker. But since the party has endorsed you and the President and VP-elect have endorsed you, in Sha Allah you’ll be the Speaker and deputy Speaker.
“But don’t do a winner takes all. Make sure you form a unity leadership and a united House for the purpose of having a common front for the benefit of Nigerians”, Zulum said.

Also addressing the Abbas/Kalu campaign team in his official residence in Abuja on Monday night, the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, while congratulating members for winning their elections, called on the Speaker and deputy Speakership candidates to remain true to the attributes that endeared them to the party’s leadership which informed their selection and endorsement. He also stressed the need for respect and loyalty to the party at all times irrespective of personal political interest.

“So let me first congratulate all of you for winning your elections, and also congratulate your supporters who made you to win the elections. It’s not easy. And you know that if you have been in politics, you will know that politics is about loyalty. Politics is about being obedient. Not the other obedient (laughs). Being obedient to your leaders, our own leaders. And being respectful to the party. So when we finish like this there are bound to be different opinions, there are bound to be different interests. I was also a legislator. I was just sharing with him how I became the speaker.

“As DG campaign, I was very loyal, and I remain loyal to the President-elect who was my boss and also the Vice President-elect and also to the leader of the party for now, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“So today we have elected a President, and have elected a Vice President. Definitely, their words will be our wisdom. So I will say that I have listened to you. I can say you are even the first person to have come to me, inspite of the fact that I have two of my own that also indicated interest. But I granted you audience to see you. And I saw you. When I said I saw you, you know what I mean. But if you become the Speaker and deputy, look at some of our interests too in the North Central Zone. Not that they are crying, they are crying on our behalf. So if you get it please don’t forget us in the North Central. But as I have received this message, I want to assure you that I will carry it forward. Even in the absence of the President-elect the Vice President-elect is already moving and the DG must support him for us to move forward.,” Governor Lalong assured.

Briefing the Governor on reasons for the visit earlier, both Hon. Abbas and Hon. Kalu, as well as the Joint Task Coalition Chairman, Hon. Kumo congratulated him for a job well done at the just concluded Presidential election.
They expressed appreciation for the sacrifices he mad to take on the challenges of marketing the party’s presidential ticket even in the face of mounting pressure and propaganda
They however, informed the Governor that theirs is a unity project that seeks to reestablish national loyalty and cohesion in the polity, just as the Speakership candidate, Abbas disclosed that as at Sunday evening, not less than 107 members-elect from opposition parties have joined the movement.
“So we are here your Excellency, inspite of the fact that you have two candidates, to plead with you to support our course, because our course is a Nigerian course. We are a unity project members here. We have membership across all the 8 political parties. And I can tell with confidence sir that our last count as at yesterday (Sunday), we have 107 minority party members onboard this project.
Speaking to journalists after an hour long meeting with the Candidates behind closed doors, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State stressed the importance of showing respect for constituted authority.
He said while it’s not in his place to assess the candidates who already enjoy the support of the ruling party and the President and Vice President-elect, he will sit with members-elect from his State to discuss on the need to be on “the winning team.”
“I’m not in a position to assess the candidates. As a politician I know he’s the endorsed person by the President-elect and the Vice President-elect, and as someone who has a lot of experience in democracy and parliamentary practice I know there should be respect for constituted authority. I know there should be synergy between the executive and the legislature. And that is what is typefied by this endorsement that I should advice my members-elect to look positively into because I know that at the end of the day, they are going to be independent and they’re going to work to enhance the welfare and independence of the legislature under any leadership.”

The Governor stated further that while he may be an opposition governor, he shares in the responsibility to ensure a harmonious working relationship between the executive and the legislature, noting that peace or conflict between them will determine the direction of the entire country and the people irrespective of party affiliation.

“And of course it is not my business to know who was endorsed but it’s my business to see that there’s peace, there’s collaboration, there’s synergy between the two arms of government and of course my legislators (members-elect) are also going along with the winning team, ensuring that Bauchi is in the scheme of things and not excluded.

“Hon. Abbas, of course I have seen his pedigree, I’ve seen his resumé and I have seen the support of the federal government, definitely we will sit down with my legislators (members-elect) and we will take a decision,” the governor assured.

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