The emergence of the 10th Speaker, House of Representatives, Honorable Tajudeen Abbas followed the pattern of Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio on the same Tuesday, June 13, 2023 the lawmaker representing Zaria Federal Constituency mounted the top seat.
This followed a whirlwind of political spectacle, relentless campaigning, and intense horse trading. Godswill Akpabio, the “uncommon” former governor of Akwa Ibom state, has ascended to the throne of the senate president, wielding the gavel, while Tajudeen Abbas, claimed the mantle of leadership in the house of representatives.
Akpabio and Abbas were anointed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) as its preferred candidates for the positions. Taking lessons from past experiences, the ruling party took every necessary measure to ensure its nominated candidates are elected.
Abbas was elected in an “openly declared” ballot system, having scored 353 votes out of 359 to defeat fellow contenders, Ahmed Wase and Sani Jaji, who polled three votes each.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had earlier favored and consequently put forward Abbas and Honorable Benjamin Kalu as Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
Despite this decision of the ruling party to present the duo for the position, other contestants, particularly the G-7 group, had vowed to continue in the contest for the speakership seat.
But about three days before the contest, Honorable Muktar Aliyu Betara and Yusuf Adamu Gagdi dropped their ambition, after meeting with President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima.
Honorable Ahmed Wase and Sani Jaji, however, went on to contest for the position.
The process began before 10:00 am, as the Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly, Kamoru Ogunlami, alongside the Clerk of the House of Representatives, presided over the session.
Birthed into royalty, Abbas was born three years after Nigeria gained independence on October 1, 1963, into a ruling family in the Zazzau Emirate nestled in the ancient city of Zaria, Zaria LGA of Kaduna state.
He holds the traditional title of Iyan Zazzau. His great-grandfather was an emir in the Zazzau Emirate. He comes from the Mallawa dynasty of the emirate. Meanwhile, his mother hails from Dutsen Kura in Malumfashi LGA of Katsina state.
By the dictators of the longstanding tradition, Abbas finds himself within the sacred order of succession. He is in line to ascend the illustrious throne as the Emir of Zazzau.
From tender years, little Abbas radiated an aura of exceptional greatness, embodying the rare qualities of a child predestined for the zenith.
Abbas was enrolled at the LEA Primary School, Lemu, Zaria, where he obtained his first school leaving certificate (FSLC). Continuing in his pursuit of knowledge, he went to the Government Secondary School in Makarfi, where he acquired the West African Examination Certificate (WAEC) in 1978.
With an insatiable hunger for academic excellence, he obtained a Grade I certificate at Kaduna Teacher’s College in 1981. Abbas then proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria where he studied accounting and bagged a diploma in 1984.
His academic odyssey continued unabated as he obtained a B.Sc in business administration from Ahmadu Bello University in 1988. He bagged an M.Sc in business administration from the same institution in 1993. Abbas went further to get a PhD from Usman Dan Fodio University in Sokoto.
He also obtained another B.Sc in Business Administration Management from Usman Dan Fodio University.
CAREER IN CIVIL SERVICE
Abbas’ journey is a captivating tale that saw him blossom from the position of a primary school teacher to an esteemed senior lecturer at the university.
Abbas was a primary school teacher from 1981 to 1988. In June 1998, Abbas decided to temporarily veer away from the familiar path of civil service. He delved into the private sector, joining the Nigerian Tobacco Company (NTC) Plc in Jos. For three years and three months, he held the esteemed position of a general manager, navigating through the complexities of the industry.
Abbas later joined the Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic in September 2001, where he lectured until June 2005.
A month after, Abbas embarked on a new chapter at the Kaduna State University. With determination and dedication, he ascended the ranks, reaching the pinnacle of a senior lecturer, a testament to his profound knowledge and commitment.
Yet, just when his academic career seemed to have reached its zenith, the allure of politics beckoned. In 2010, Abbas made the audacious leap into the unpredictable murky waters of politics, bidding farewell to the halls of academia.
Abbas was first elected to the federal house of representatives on the platform of the now-defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in 2011.
In a stunning display of support, he triumphed once again in the 2015 elections, this time on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC). Abbas took on multiple roles as a member of various committees within the hallowed green chamber.
He was the deputy chairman of the house committee on legislative compliance between 2011 and 2015. Following the inauguration of the house in 2019, he was appointed to chair the committee on land transport.
Tajudeen was also saddled with other legislative ad hoc assignments in the lower legislative chamber. In 2019, he was appointed as the treasurer of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (African chapter).
He was a member of the governing council of the Nigerian Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) where he represented the north-west geo-political zone from 2019 to 2023. Abbas was
the APC Kaduna caucus leader in the house of representatives, a position he held since 2019. In 2021, he was appointed the chairman of the house of representatives sub-committee on the constitutional review conference for the north-central.
Despite the numerous roles he handled, Abbas did not take a back seat in delivering his core constitutional mandate of lawmaking. He sponsored several bills and motions. The lawmaker is described by his colleagues as a “silent achiever”.
During his four years stint in the 9th lower legislative chamber, he sponsored 74 bills; out of this extraordinary tally, over 18 received presidential assent.
Until recently, many Nigerians were oblivious of his remarkable achievements as Abbas humbly shied away from the limelight.
In recognition of his exceptional legislative achievement, OrderPaper Nigeria, a news media organization dedicated to reporting parliamentary affairs, recently bestowed upon Abbas an award for being among the top performers in the 9th national assembly.
MAN OF MANY FIRSTS
In the course of his career, Abbas has had the golden chance to blaze the trail, sculpting a formidable bedrock for those after him.
Abbas was the pioneer head of the Department of Accounting and Finance, Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria. He also pioneered the Department of Business Administration at the same institution.
The legislator was the pioneer head of the Department of Accounting at Kaduna State University.
Aside from the fact that Abbas was the anointed candidate of the APC, he was also the preferred candidate of Femi Gbajabiamila, his predecessor.
Speaking during an interview, Abbas said the 10th national assembly won’t be a rubber stamp under his watch.
With Abbas ascending the throne of the number four seat in the country, all eyes are fixed on him, as he orchestrates the symphony of the green chamber over the course of the next four years.
Gallery: Diaspora Excellence Award 2023
At the occasion organized in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Naija Diaspora Magazine, several individuals, companies, governors, traditional rulers, business owners, government agencies and parastatals as well as politicians were honored for their outstanding performances in 2023. The publication celebrated its
10th anniversary with a two-day event that included the Symposium and Annual Diaspora Excellence Award. This platform provided a unique opportunity for collective learning, networking, and gaining insights into government policies that relate to communities. Attendees were empowered to navigate pathways of positive change. The Symposium lecture was titled: ‘Building a Nation’, with several dignitaries as speakers.
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Inaugural Anambra State Union Football Tournament Triumphs Amidst Adversity
On the 6th of August 2023, a monumental event took place at St Michel, Terminus, Douala, marking the commencement of the First Edition of the Anambra State Union Football Tournament. Under the stewardship of Sir Emeka Uzoka, Chairman of the Anambra State Union, this tournament emerged as a testament to unity, sportsmanship, and the indomitable spirit of the Anambra community.
The opening ceremony set the stage for what would become an unforgettable showcase of camaraderie and competitive fervor. A true celebration of tradition and athleticism, the tournament kicked off with a Veteran Match at 2:00 pm. The clash between Aguata Local Government Union and Nnewi Local Government Union resulted in a gripping encounter, with Aguata securing victory with a 2-0 score line.
Distinguished figures graced the event with their presence, adding prestige to the occasion. Among them was Mr. Oliva Ochi, Consul 1 at the Consulate General Douala, representing the esteemed Consul General, H.E. Amb. (Mrs.) Efe A. Clark-Omeru.
The honorable gathering was further enriched by the participation of key personalities, including: Hon. BIC Okwujiaku, President of the Nigerian Community Douala, HRH Eze Jonathan T. Onyenagubor, Eze Gburugburu 1 of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, Cameroon, Sir, Lovinus Ezeh, Vice President, Nigerian Community Douala, Chief Alex Nwoye, Vice President 2, Nigerian Community Douala, Chief Uche Obiekwe, Patron of the Nigerian Community Douala, Chief Innocent Obiorah Odoh, Patron Anambra State Union, Chairmen of Imo and Enugu States Union, Esteemed members of the Anambra State Union.
The event also extended its reach to include esteemed guests from Douala and beyond.
In recognition of the paramount importance of safety and well-being, the organizers ensured the presence of dedicated medical health and security personnel, assuring attendees a secure environment throughout the event.
Despite the inclement weather characterized by heavy rain, the unyielding spirit of the Anambra community remained unshaken. A testament to their passion for football and unity, a remarkable number of attendees braved the elements, converging to witness the unfolding of history on the lush fields of St Michel, Terminus.
The final was held on Sunday 12th of November 2023 @ Bonamousadi Stadium Douala. Oyi Local Government lifted the trophy while Aguta Local Government took the bronze and Idemili Local Government took silver.
The inaugural Anambra State Union Football Tournament stands as an embodiment of shared values, intercommunity collaboration, and the timeless appeal of sport. This event not only etched a significant mark on the sporting calendar but also served as a reminder of the resilience and unity that define the Anambra community.
As the tournament concluded its first chapter, it left in its wake a legacy of camaraderie, sporting excellence, and the promise of more remarkable editions to come.
CAMEROON: Miniature Africa
Cameroon, nestled in the heart of Central Africa, is a country with a captivating blend of rich cultural diversity, stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife. Often referred to as « Miniature Africa, » Cameroon offers travelers a unique and multifaceted experience, showcasing the continent’s essence in a single destination.
With more than 250 ethnic groups and languages, Cameroon is a melting pot of diverse cultures, traditions and customs. The capital city, Yaoundé, and the economic hub, Douala, provide excellent starting points to dive into Cameroon’s cultural wealth.
Cameroon’s diverse geography offers a plethora of breathtaking landscapes, each with its unique charm.
In the West, the mist-covered peaks of Mount Cameroon, the highest mountain in West Africa, beckon adventurous hikers to climb and witness awe-inspiring views of the surrounding scenery.
Towards the North, the Sahelian region boasts vast savannas and semi-arid landscapes, offering visitors an opportunity to spot magnificent wildlife, and in the East, the dense rainforests of the Congo Basin teem with a rich variety of flora and fauna, including gorillas, chimpanzees, and exotic bird species.
Tourism Spots on a Budget
Here are a selection of the most distinguished and captivating tourist destinations in Cameroon. These remarkable locales boast accessibility without undue strain on one’s financial resources, making them irresistible choices for tourists.
Mefou National Park:
Mefou National Park houses the Mefou Primate Sanctuary, a rescue center managed by Ape Action Africa. With over 300 rare and endangered primates, it’s a significant conservation project in Africa, providing lifelong care and rehabilitation for animals rescued from illegal trades.
Formerly known as Victoria, Limbe is a port city with a diverse flora and fauna influenced by its colonial past. The Limbe Wildlife Centre/Botanical Centre offers a close-to-nature experience, rescuing and caring for ill-treated and endangered animals.
Mount Cameroon, also called the « Chariot of the Gods, » is West Africa’s highest mountain and an active volcano. A popular destination for adventurers and hikers, the trek offers stunning views, diverse landscapes and encounters with wildlife like monkeys and birds.
Kribi Beach, in the southwestern region, boasts long white sand beaches and clear waters. It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing and water sports. Visitors can also enjoy the Chutes de la Lobé waterfall, where they can swim under the falls. Local cuisine and seafood delicacies await at various restaurants.
Korup National Park:
Korup National Park, renowned for its bird species, offers pristine tropical wilderness. Visitors can enjoy lodging infrastructure and spot unique primates like the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee and Perseus’s red colobus. Located near the ocean, Mundemba serves as a starting point for tours to the park, where guides often speak the local Cameroonian language.
Cameroon stands tall as a remarkable destination for audacious travelers seeking a blend of cultural diversity, awe-inspiring landscapes and thrilling adventures. From the depths of the rainforests to the heights of its mountains, and from the bustling cities to the serene beaches, the land beckons with open arms, ready to share its enchanting beauty and warm hospitality with all who venture to explore its wonders. As tourism in Cameroon continues to grow sustainably, the country’s potential as a captivating and memorable destination will undoubtedly flourish.