Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has said that the party is working on a sensible zoning arrangement on how the leadership of National Assembly will emerge.
He disclosed this on Monday in Abuja at a joint meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) with party members-elect of the House of Representatives.
He assured them that the party would consultat with President Muhammadu Buhari and all the leaders of the party and reflect their decisions in making legislative appointees, as stipulated in the constitution of the party.
“We will carry out consultation with President Muhammadu Buhari and all the leaders of the party and reflect the reality of appointees as reflected in our constitution, which recognised the geo-political regions of our country so that we will work out a sensible zoning formula that seems to carry everybody along and give people chances to demonstrate their capacity and capability ”
Oshiomhole said that the party, with its overwhelming majority in the House of Representatives, will use its numbers to elect the leadership of the house.
“We have the numbers to produce the Speaker and we will produce the Speaker who must be a member of APC,” he added.
“We have the numbers and we will use the numbers to produce the Deputy Speaker, who must be a member of APC. So I will expect you bear in mind that we are one family bonded together as shown in our broom with a sheer commitment to take Nigeria out of the condition we found it in 2015.
“You have the numbers and we would use those numbers to ensure that we have a leadership that command trust and respect of all the members of House of Representatives. There will be contestation; that is why we are in democracy. But after the contestation and debate, we have to agree and once we have agreed we move forward.”
He stressed that all the chairmen of the committee except that of Public Account Committee, which is statutorily reserved for the opposition, must be occupied by APC members.
He explained that the party would not be a victim of what happened in the eighth Assembly, where members of the ruling party became spectators in the management of the affairs of the committees while the opposition had majority of strategic committees.
“I think the only position that we are not interested in is Minority Leader,” he said.
“We will not share power in House of Representatives and the leadership must ensure that critical committees are chaired only by APC members. If Nigerian people wanted opposition to be the chairmen of committees, they would have voted for them.”
He stated that the party was aware of moves by the opposition to employ ‘divide and rule’ strategy in sponsoring members within APC to contest for the positions, thereby breaking their ranks.
“Honourable members I assure you that we are not going to do any business with them,” Oshiomhole said.
“We will see them as partners in progress but in democracy there is rule and it is a universal rule. The majority must have their way and minority must be allowed to have their say. So PDP as minority can have their say and will have their say. But working together, APC must have its way in the legislative agenda and in the leadership of National Assembly and the leadership of the committees ”
“We will ensure that we have a leadership of the National Assembly that shares the vision of the Executive. Although we stick to separation of powers, but unless the various arms pursue the same agenda, it is difficult for the Executive to fulfil its promises and legislative backing is often required for most of the executive actions.”
APC held Monday’s meeting with reps-elect to forestall the scenario in 2015 when it favoured Ahmed Lawan for Senate President and Femi Gbajabiamila for House of Reps Speaker, only for some desperate politicking to see Bukola Saraki, then of the APC, enter an alliance with PDP senators to emerge Senate President, same way Yakubu Dogara rather than Gbajabiamila emerged House of Reps Speaker. As part of the trade-off, Ike Ekweremadu, a minority lawmaker, emerged Deputy Senate President; while Yusuf Lasun, another minority lawmaker, emerged Deputy Speaker.