The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen, on Saturday, said the Green Chamber would work to ensure that traditional rulers have constitutional roles.
Speaker Abbas said this has become necessary due to the critical roles traditional rulers play in the society
The Speaker spoke at the palace of the Emir of Zazzau, His Royal Highness, Amb. Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, during his first visit to Zaria since his emergence as Speaker on June 13
Speaker Abbas who holds the traditional title of Iyan Zazzau, was received by a mammoth crowd in Zaria who sang songs of joy to celebrate him as the Number 4 citizen
The Speaker, who is representing Zaria Federal Constituency for the fourth time, first paid homage to the emir’s palace, where he noted the important role of traditional institutions and called for their recognition in the 1999 Constitution.
He was accompanied by several principal officers and over 50 members of the House across political party and regional lines.
Speaker Abbas thanked his colleagues in the House for the “massive support” they gave him, while equally appreciating the entire people of Zaria for the opportunity to represent them in the House.
He said: “One of the reasons for this visit is to seek your support and prayers for a successful tenure. Pray for us to lead well and deliver on our mandate.
“I want to make a promise to you today. I remember about three years ago when we held zonal hearings on constitutional amendment, you made submissions regarding the need for traditional rulers to have constitutional roles
“I would like to assure you that we now have the opportunity. With me as your son being the Speaker, we will look at that proposal once again so that our traditional rulers will have recognised constitutional roles.
“We are also here to seek the cooperation of the entire traditional institutions in the North and the country. We also want you to give us advice on how to succeed in our leadership. Where we err, you should tell us the truth. I seek the support of the Zazzau Emir and the people of the Emirate.
“I thank everyone for coming. I thank the Emir for giving us audience.”
Emir Bamalli, in his remarks, recalled the several sons and daughters of Zaria who had held national positions before Abbas as Speaker of the House.
The Emir said: “The entire people of Zazzau are appreciative. The people of Zazzau have held high positions in this country. We had a President in the person of Yakubu Gowon. We also had a Vice-President in the person of Namadi Sambo. We now have a Speaker. We also had ambassadors, ministers and different positions.”
According to the Emir, the people of Zaria have engaged in politics since 1999, while the Emirate had also made laudable contributions to political stability.
“I recall during the reign of late Emir Jaafaru; he created the platform for politics to thrive in our land. The traditional institutions have made meaningful contributions to the political growth and development of our country.
“All of you seated here – the members – have a link to the traditional institution in one way or the other. Unfortunately, most politicians, once they win election, the traditional institutions don’t see them again. The good thing is that wherever you go, you must come back to the traditional institutions.
“The fear of politicians is that we want to have another tier of government. But that is not the case. We have made our case and presented at different levels. We met with the then Chief of Staff to the President; we met with the Senate President and the then Speaker; yet, nothing happened on the bill,” Emir Bamalli added.
The Emir, therefore, appealed to the lawmakers to “dust the bill and work on it once again,” noting that, “All we want is for the bill to be passed unopposed. We hope that the Legislature will look at this quickly.”
The Emir of Zazzau thanked the Speaker and his entourage for visiting him, while expressing his hope that they would perform. “Your years at the National Assembly have proved useful, which is why your colleagues elected you,” he stated.
The Emir called on all members of the House to come together and work for Nigeria, stating that the time for electoral campaign was gone.
Giving the vote of thanks, Speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, Hon. Dahiru Liman, said: “We want to thank the Emir for giving us all the support needed during the campaign. We also thank the entire Zazzau Emirate for receiving us. We want to assure you that the Speaker, your son, will not disappoint you.”
Speaker Abbas later held a stakeholders’ meeting with notable individuals in his constituency, where he thanked them for their support over the years and sought their prayers to succeed.
He equally thanked his opponent at the 2023 general elections, Alhaji Musa Indabo, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for withdrawing his tribunal case against the Speaker without being prompted.