The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that it will work with the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, to come up with an acceptable consensus arrangement for the emerging leadership of the assembly.
The National Chairman of the party, Abdullahi Adamu, disclosed this after a troubleshooting meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party in Abuja on Wednesday.
Adamu said the APC cannot take a final stand on the thorny issue of the zoning of seats for principal officers of the National Assembly without the input of the President-elect. He, however, said there is no cause for alarm as the party is still consulting with Tinubu on the matter.
“The outcome of our four-hour meeting is that we came out more formidable and united than anything.”
“On the issue of zoning, that is not what today’s meeting was all about. When we do the zoning meeting, we don’t just go alone as a party; zoning will take into consideration the person who has the mandate for this country, the president-elect. We want to take him along. He traveled after the elections, and he came back only last week, so we have to carry him along.
“We cannot stop those who are ambitious or projecting zoning interest or individual interest; we cannot deny them, and as long as that is there, we have to find a way, persuasively, to reach some level of consensus. That is what we are working on. It is not a one-day affair,” the party chairman stated.
However, for anxious politicians waiting for the zoning template of the leadership of the National Assembly by the ruling party, they might have to wait until after the inauguration of the President-elect on May 29.
There are pressures on the President-elect not to be in a hurry in taking decisions about the zoning of the leadership of the National Assembly because of the intrigues ongoing among politicians from different geopolitical zones in the country.
It was gathered that the simmering internal crisis in the APC and counter-reactions from contending zones that might lose out in the power game may affect the May 29 inauguration and distract Tinubu from focusing on the tasks ahead of him.
“I can assure you that the President-elect has what it takes to resolve the matter and make all zones happy, but it is better for him to take the decision on zoning after his inauguration. There is a wide gap of difference between a president-elect and a president,” the Guardian quoted a source as saying in a report on Thursday.
When reminded that the outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari did the same thing by not taking decisions on the zoning of leadership of the National Assembly until his inauguration in 2015, in which the party eventually lost out after the emergence of Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as Senate President and Deputy Senate President, respectively, the source said: “We have taken this into consideration.” “The issue of zoning will be resolved before the constitution of the 10th National Assembly by the President or the Clerk of the House.”
However, the House of Representatives member-elect for AMAC/Bwari Federal constituency in Abuja, Joshua Chinedu Obika, has said the APC cannot determine who becomes the next Speaker of the House of Representatives.
In an interview with newsmen on Wednesday, Obika, who was elected on the platform of the Labour Party (LP), said the opposition members would unite to make the 10th National Assembly a robust one.
The opposition parties, comprising the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), LP, African Democratic Congress (ADC), and others, have the majority in the House of Representatives with 180 members, while the ruling APC has 178.
Two seats are pending: one in Akwa Ibom and another in Ondo states.
He said: “APC does not have what it takes to determine who becomes Speaker of the 10th National Assembly because they are in the minority in the silent majority in the House.”
“The number of members from the minority has surpassed that of the APC as a political party, and the majority takes it.” The APC can still take the position of Speaker, but that can only be determined by all of us, not by the APC as a party, because Nigerians are yearning for change.
“The 10th Assembly is made up of many political parties’ representatives: we have the APC, PDP, LP, SDP, NNPP, ADC, and Accord Party. That shows that Nigerians are dissatisfied with the two dominant parties, and as of today, they are in the silent majority; they cannot do much. If APC zones the leadership of the House of Representatives, they will lose it.”
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