Hon Abdulmumuni Jibrin, in this interview with State House correspondents, calls on the leadership of the APC to zone the National Assembly principal offices, to avoid a repeat of the 2015 scenario. JONATHAN NDA- ISAIAH was there for LEADERSHIP
You met with the president, may we know what you discussed?
Of course I met with the Mr president, first to greet him as usual, for all he has done and to also congratulate him and to also offer few advise. Because we all know the political issues now as matters related to the election of the leadership of the national assembly.
What is the position of members and the party to avoid a repeat of the 2015 scenario?
Well the position of our party and our leaders has always been that all elected members and of course, senators should exercise patience, work is going on, consultations are being carried out and I believe that no any elected senator or members of APC would allow himself to be used by the opposition like in the case of 2015. In the case of 2015, there wasn’t consequences but I am pretty sure that this time around, if anybody allowed himself to be used by the opposition party, there will certainly be consequences.
Are we going to see the senate and members of the party following the wish of the party?
Well, that is what is expected. But as you also aware, they are matured people, they are elected members, there are need for engagement, are need for a lot of lobbying – that is what is obtainable all over the world. And we have in the person of the President- our father who is reaching out to everybody and of course the party chairman and other leaders working day and night consulting members and lobbying where they should so that at the end of the day we can have a very smooth leadership election. But of course, that is not to say that there is no some kind of elements of desperation as you can see, a lot of people coming out to indicate interest. Personally, I have complained about that and the way and manner they are going about it it’s a bid unhealthy for the party, because at the end of the day only one person will become senate president and only one person will become the speaker and other principal officers.
So, we need to start imbibing the culture of putting the country first or the party first before ourselves. Personally, I have demonstrated that because I have indicated that I am not interested in tunning for the office of the speakership, deputy speakership or any principal office because of how choked up the whole system is as regard the number of people that are contesting. Just to open up space, and allow some of us to sit down and organise and ensure that the government and of course the party eventually have the kind of parliament or the kind of leadership of the National Assembly that they can work with harmoniously.
One of the very important issues that we tend to forget is that completely, the narrative has changed. All of us tend to be focused on who you want, who want to contest, who wants powers who wants to grap office A or office B. We completely forgotten that what is equally important is for us to start asking the question what commitment is the person who will emerge or we are ready to support ready to commit to the basic issues. Is he ready to commit to electronic system in the national assembly so that you all that belong to constituencies would be able to see if your member or senator voted yes or no on any bill, motion or anything in the national assembly. Is he ready commit to open up attendance of members, publish it so that our constituents will be ablebto see whether their members or senators attend sittings or not? Is he ready to commit to town hall meeting that are attended by members? Is he ready to commit to run a functional constituency office that funds are always provided for?
I don’t want to even touch the controversial one because I don’t want to be suspended…but these are all very important issues BD I am surprised the whole country everybody is keeping qhiete and we are just talking about who wants to be senate president, who wants to be speaker and the rest. And these are basic issues that have been lingering for twenty years of our democracy. This time around I think, not only that the party has a responsibility, Nigerians also have responsibility to ensure that whoever will emerger as a leader in the national assembly must commit to these basic issues.
Is your party going to zone the position this time around?
Yes to make things much more easier and to narrow down the contest to a fewer people, the party is expected to bring out a zoning which of course we expected everybody should abide by the zoning. And of course, if you don’t, I personally believe that there should be or there is a consequence for that.
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