Contrary to its initial stance, the All Progressives Congress (APC) says that it is not against its members lobbying the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to get their support for the principal offices of the 9th National Assembly.
Before the new development, APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, had declared that the ruling party does not need the opposition lawmakers to secure the leadership of both the Red and the Green Chambers of the National Assembly.
Oshiomhole had said that unlike in 2015, the APC was comfortably in control of the National Assembly having won most of the seats at the just-concluded 2019 general elections. He further said that because of the feat, the APC would not share the principal offices of the National Assembly except the ones constitutionally allowed.
But yesterday, the APC in a statement issued by its national publicity secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said that the party recognises the importance of the opposition in a democracy, “hence reaching out to them for support is within the prism of which the APC is not opposed to.”
The party hinged its preference of Senator Ahmed Lawan as the next Senate president on his ability to carry everyone along, adding that it would soon make public the zones expected to produce the next speaker of the House of Representatives.
Issa-Onilu said: “In a situation when you do not have two-thirds which would be required at some very critical situations, for us as a ruling party, we understand that a stable and peaceful National Assembly would enhance our capacity to deliver more for the people of Nigeria.
“So, the party is not averse to negotiation by Senator Ahmed Lawan and our other senators-elect working to fulfil the position taken by our party.
“We are inundated with reports of our members in the National Assembly holding consultations with members of the opposition over the election of leaders into the 9th National Assembly. Let me state that our party has no objection to such consultations. It is a normal democratic practice world over to stretch hands across the divides. And contrary to some media reports, the actions of our members do not contradict the party’s position. APC has a comfortable majority in both chambers, therefore; we have the number to produce the leadership,” he insisted.
On why the party preferred Senator Lawan, he said: “It is important to note that one of the key considerations for adopting him as the party’s candidate for the Senate presidency is his ability to carry everyone along. On top of that, the party has confidence in him not to compromise the progressive ideology of APC. So clearly, Senator Ahmed Lawan is capable of conducting his negotiations within the prism of APC’s objectives.”
Speaking on zoning principal positions of the leadership of the National Assembly, APC said that it would soon release the zoning arrangement to the public.
“Our party will soon release the zoning arrangements for the principal positions of the incoming 9th National Assembly”, Issa-Onilu said.
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