9TH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY: Our members are free to consult with PDP – APC backtracks, says party recognizes the importance of opposition

The National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that its members are free to consult with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the leadership of the National Assembly.

According to the ruling party, APC consulting the PDP is normal and does not contradict the party’s position.

The APC had however said that PDP members in the National Assembly were not needed for the election of its candidates into the NASS leadership positions.

“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,” the statement signed by Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC Publicity Secretary stated.

Naija Buzz had reported how Borno State Senator Ali Ndume had vehemently rejected the anointed candidate of his party for the position of the Senate President.

Also, Senator Danjuma Goje of Gombe State is also interested in contesting the position.

Naija Buzz also published a report that suggests that governors elected into the senate were also making plans to produce the next Senate President.

With these divisions among the ruling party lawmakers, the PDP with over 40 senators could determine who the next leader of the 9th National Assembly becomes.

The National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, and the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, had been advised to lobby PDP lawmakers to support the party’s anointed candidates.

Also, Femi Gbajabiamila, the APC anointed candidate for the position of the Speaker of the House of Representative has been consulting with PDP lawmakers to seek their support.

The ruling party in a clear justification of its position however said that members consultation with the opposition PDP was important because it does not have two-third majority.

APC’s latest statement no doubt contradicts its earlier position which suggested that the party would simply produce the next NASS leadership and also take all committee positions, leaving the PDP with only what is due to minority parties.

“But democracy recognises the importance of the opposition. Especially when you do not have two-third 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.

“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.”

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