Mr Adams Oshiomhole, the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, says President Muhammadu Buhari can only deliver on his campaign promises with necessary legislative policies and backing.
Oshiomhole stated this on Monday in Abuja at a meeting with the party`s national leadership and its newly-elected and returning House of Representative members, stressing that in unity, they could achieve much more.
He thanked God and Nigerians for electing the representatives, adding that the meeting was to acquaint the first timers in particular, with the antics of the opposition.
He stressed that the 164 newly-elected representatives had a huge responsibility ahead of them, and could not afford to disappoint Nigerians who elected them.
The APC national chairman expressed optimism that the representatives though may be new, had the sophistication, knowledge and commitment required to excel in the house.
“You have been elected at a very challenging time to provide legislative backing for APC agenda and manifestos.
“We must admit that there is still a lot to be done to make Nigeria safer in terms of security, investors don’t go to war front, even the poor value their security, people want to feel safe and secure.
“Whatever additional legislative measure to back the executive commitment in the area of security, we believe that as people who share this commitment, you will provide this support.
“There is a lot to be done to take Nigeria to the next level and to give everyone a sense of pride and dignity and to ensure that we have a country whose citizens are respected by state institutions wherever they are, “ Oshiomhole said.
He said to move Nigeria to the next level of economic and infrastructure development, the APC would not leave the leadership of the National Assembly and key committee chairmanship positions in the hands of the opposition.
He said the APC would not share power in the House of Representatives with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He added that with 222 elected members of the House of Representatives, critical committees that drive government must be chaired by APC members, except the Public Account Committee that was statutorily reserved for the opposition.
“If Nigerians wanted the opposition to chair committees, they would have voted for them, “ the national chairman said.
He also said that the APC-led Federal Government could not afford to have the kind of executive and legislative crisis it had in the 8th Assembly.
He said that in the 8th Assembly, some APC members became “distant spectators“ in the management of committees, while PDP members had strategic positions in the management of committees in the house.
This, the APC national chairman stressed would not happen in the 9th Assembly.
“I will expect that you all bear in mind that we are one family bounded together as shown in the broom symbol of our party, with a shared commitment to bail Nigeria out of the condition we found it in 2015.
“You have the numbers, and we will use those numbers to ensure that we have a leadership that commands the thrust and the respect of members of the House of Representatives.
“There will be contestation, that is why we are in a democracy, but after the contestation and debate, there has to be agreement, and once we have agreed, we move forward.
“We have the numbers to produce the Speaker, and we will produce the speaker, who must be a member of the APC.
“We have the number and we will use it to produce the Deputy speaker, House Leader, Chief Whip and Deputy Whip, who must all be members of the APC.
“The only position we are not interested in, is that of the Minority Leader, let it remain in the hands of the minors and in the opposition,“ Oshiomhole said.
He added that the APC was, however, aware that the opposition PDP was already sponsoring some of its members to contest key committee positions, with a view to getting some chairmanship seats in return.
He advised the elected representative not to do business with PDP members, but to see them as partners in progress.
“The PDP and other minorities can have their say, but working together, APC must have its way in the legislative agenda and in the leadership of the National Assembly and the leadership of its committees.
“Please don’t allow anybody to divide you, we will carry out extensive consultations with President Muhammadu Buhari and all the leaders of our party, “ he said.
He added that the consultations would reflect the reality of the nation’a politics as reflected in the Constitution which recognises the country`s geo-political zones.
Oshiomhole said the party`s leadership would work out a “sensible zoning formula“ that would carry everybody along and give them chances to demonstrate their capacities and capabilities.
This, he said, was critical to ensure that the party had a leadership without rancour.
Senate President is from Yobe, Taraba should produce APC National Secretary- Groups declare
The Coalition of APC Support Groups in the North East has called on the leadership of the All Progressive Congress APC to be fair in its decision on state which will provide the next National Secretary of the party, urging leaders of the party to stop cheating Taraba State.
According to the group, it would be unfair to zone the position of the party’s National Secretary to Yobe State despite the deficit of positions in other APC loyal states from the North-East zone.
The group said with the emergence of Senator Ahmed Lawan from Yobe State as Senate President, Taraba State should be allowed to produce the next National Secretary of the APC.
The Coalition Coordinator Abdulhamid Yazeed in a statement on Wednesday said, “We are appealing to the NWC of APC to rescind it’s decision that Yobe should bring replacement for the former National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni who was elected governor of Yobe State, Senate President Senator Ahmed Lawan should “pacify Borno and Yobe to concede the office of the National Secretary to Taraba state in appreciation of the supports it has gotten from Taraba state.”
The APC group also noted that it is going to be injustice should Yobe state produce the National Secretary after clinching the Senate President zoned to the North East.
“Yobe state has just produce the Senate President with overwhelming supports from all the North Eastern states and Taraba does not have an APC governor at the moment. Taraba do not have any representative in the Buhari government and in the APC leadership despite its support for the party. It is also on record, that President Muhammadu Buhari enjoys an overwhelming followership in Taraba State. Ever since Mr. President joined partisan politics and contested the 2003 presidential election, the Taraba State electorate has massively voted for him in a consistent pattern, up to the 2019 general elections. In the last election we gave the President 48 percent of the total votes cast but Taraba State APC is grossly marginalized even in the party.
“We are worried about the non inclusion of Taraba state in the political arrangement of the APC. Currently, Taraba state does not have any representative in the National Working Committee of the APC as has been the case from the party’s inception, due cognizance should be accorded to Taraba State for office of the national secretary now.
“In particular, we passionately appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Leader of our great party, His Excellency Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Senate President Ahmed Lawan and all other APC top echelon, to kindly consider the candidature of Barrister Mohammed Bello Mustapha from Taraba State on the basis of not only his personality, capabilities and sterling pedigree but fairness and equity our party is known for.”
Furthermore, the group bemoaned what it described as marginalization of Taraba state in terms of federal appointments to reflect federal character as enshrined in the nation’s constitution.
“Even in governance, Taraba state has been grossly marginalized, the state for Nine months does not have a minister in the last Federal Executive Council, the state does not have Chief Executive of any Federal Government agencies since the APC takes over in 2015.” the group added.
“We strongly believe in the capacity and disposition of Mr. President and the APC hierarchy, to uphold the tenets of fairness and equity, therefore we wholly ascribe the unusual exclusion of Taraba State from the constitution of the previous federal administration, as an oversight which should be corrected immediately.”
Kogi guber 2019: Fresh crisis rocks PDP as Ibrahim Idris imposes son as candidate
Gbajabiamila not convicted of any crime, says campaign spokesman
Femi Gbajabiamila, majority leader of the house of representatives, was never convicted of any crime in the US, his campaign organisation has said.
A court in the federal capital territory (FCT) had asked Gbajabiamila to appear before it on Monday, the eve of the speakership contest, over a suit filed by Action Peoples Party (APP).
The party had asked the court to disqualify Gbajabiamila from the race on the grounds that he was convicted in a $25,000 fraud case.
But addressing a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, the campaign organisation led by Abdulmumin Jibrin, a lawmaker from Kano, said the speakership aspirant has also not been accused of any corruption in any country.
Jibrin described as “outright lies” claims that Gbajabiamila was once convicted in Georgia, US.
According to the lawmaker, the accusations were meant to distract Gbajabiamila from the race to become speaker of the house of representatives.
“Femi Gbajabiamila has never been convicted for any crime in the US, Nigeria or anywhere,” he said.
“He has never been accused of corruption and has no corruption case. He never committed perjury in Nigeria or any country of the world.
“He has provided clarifications and set records straight. The allegations have been tested and struck out in court. It has been stated that he is a full member of the Bar of Georgia.”
Jibrin also displayed what he said was a letter confirming Gbajabiamila’s membership of the Bar of Georgia as well as the copy of the Nigerian court judgement striking out the case.
“We further wish to state that Femi has not been served any court summons or notified by the clerk of the national assembly. The judiciary must not allow itself to be mixed in this … campaign of calumny,” he said.
The lawmaker added that the campaign organisation has so far secured the support of 60 members of lawmakers who are not in the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said members of other opposition parties, including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have also pledged their support for the APC consensus candidate.
He said: “Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and Hon. Ahmed Wase will be on the floor of the house to be elected speaker and deputy speaker respectively.
“We wish to reiterate that Hon. Femi will run an all inclusive house. So far, we have secured the endorsement of parts of the PDP caucus and other opposition parties consisting of about 60 members.
“Hon. Femi has had a distinguished career both in the parliament and beyond. He is a loyal Nigerian and party man. He is honest, hardworking, team player and humble.
“He has worked tirelessly to support his friends but some of them including me let him down in 2015. I have since repented and I am also calling on all others to repent as well.”
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