On Sunday night, two prominent contenders for the Speakership of the 10th National Assembly withdrew their candidacy in favor of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)’s preferred candidate, Hon Tajudeen Abass. Hon Muktar Betara, representing Biu/Bayo/Shani/Kwaya Kusar Federal Constituency, and Hon Yusuf Gadgi, representing Pankshin/Kanam/Kanke Federal Constituency, abandoned their aspirations after a private meeting with President Bola Tinubu at his residence in Abuja.
Vice President Kashim Shettima, on Sunday night as well, advised other contenders in the race to follow the examples of their colleagues for the nation’s interest and the party. Shettima, speaking to journalists after the meeting, stated that President Tinubu expressed satisfaction with Betara and Gagdi’s decision to prioritize the party’s interests over their personal ambitions. He urged other contenders for the Speaker’s position to take inspiration from these two individuals who set aside their ambitions and work with the party to promote national unity, equity, fairness, and justice.
Vice President Shettima further remarked, “Right Honourable Betara and Right Honourable Gagdi have graciously stepped down and endorsed the candidacy of Honourable Tajudeen Abass for the Speakership of the Federal House of Representatives. The President was deeply moved by their gesture because our shared values are stronger than our differences. We are one united APC family, and together we will… We cannot thank them enough for their magnanimity, and we commend the roles played by the Chief of Staff to the President, the Governor of Niger State, and the leadership of the party.”
The meeting was attended by Governor Mohammed Bago of Niger State and the Speaker of the 9th National Assembly, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila. The Vice President expressed confidence that with the cooperation of these influential figures, the party would be able to forge a better future for the nation and ensure a smooth and successful transition in the National Assembly.