- The APC has taken a stance as the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly draws closer
- The ruling party says it will ensure that its decisions are respected by members in electing principal officers of the assembly
- The APC said it would not allow the minority party, the PDP, interfere in choosing those who emerge leaders of the legislature
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it will ensure that the party’s decisions are respected by members in electing the principal officers of the 9th National Assembly.
The ruling party's stance was made known by the national publicity secretary of the APC, Mallam Lanre Isa-Onilu, who spoke with THISDAY at the weekend.
Unlike what happened during its assumption of power in 2015, APC said it would not allow the minority party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to interfere in choosing those who emerge leaders of both chambers of the National Assembly.
He said that the party would apply the principle of party supremacy in handling the emergence of new leadership of the incoming National Assembly.
His words: “We will enforce party discipline. And you have seen what we have done to our very important and mighty party men.
“So, you could see that APC is instilling party discipline, bringing cohesion and harmony into our system and we expect everyone who now subscribe to the world view of the APC, to abide by the decision of the party.
“So, the party is up and doing. We don’t need to make noise about what we are doing, we have the majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives to choose our leaders and we will choose our leaders.”
On whether the national leadership of the party will enforce its decisions on the zoning of offices in the National Assembly, Onilu said: “That is what is expected and that is what we will do.”
According to Onilu, there are various options before the party, including retaining the existing zoning arrangement.
He stated that the new leadership of the party is mindful of what is at stake and will do everything possible to thwart any move by the PDP to encroach on its interests.
His words: “You see, what you get in advanced democracies under the presidential system of government is that the winner takes all.
“Once you are in majority, you don’t have any business with the minority party in deciding who to choose as your leaders. But because the PDP has the characteristics of a busy body, it has been seeking to get involved.
“As it happened in the past, they are still thinking that they will decide for us what the leadership will look like in the National Assembly. They are carrying the joke too far.”
Onilu said that although a formal meeting was yet to be held to consider the zoning plan, the party is working quietly behind the scene to resolve the matter.
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Meanwhile, reports have emerged that the leadership of the APC has started mobilising its governors and key chieftains to ensure that the leaderships of both chambers of the National Assembly are core loyalists of the party.
It was gathered that governors elected on the platform of the APC had been advised to work together with senators and House of Representatives members from their state to ensure the party's choices are respected.
The move by the APC is in reaction to a purported plot by the outgoing Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to influence the emergence of a new Senate leadership when the 9th Senate is inaugurated in June, this year.
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