- The APC has explained why it settled for Senator Ahmad Lawan and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Senate president and speaker respectively
- The party leadership said its because they are the highest ranking members in both chambers of the National Assembly
- The party said all aggrieved aspirants are being spoken to, to understand the position of its leaders
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has explained why it settled for Senator Ahmad Lawan and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Senate president and speaker respectively.
The party leadership said its decision was because the duo are the highest ranking members in both chambers of the National Assembly.
The party on Wednesday, March 27, through its national publicity secretary, Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, also said it is working to achieve consensus among its federal legislators, adding that all the aggrieved aspirants are being spoken to, to understand the position of its leaders.
Speaking to ThisDay, Issa-Onilu said APC’s leaders considered the experience and ranks of Lawan and Gbajabiamila in coming to their conclusion, explaining that their loyalty to the party over time was also a major consideration.
He said the party would push for consensus for the National Assembly’s leadership positions so that election in June will be a mere formality.
He, however, restated its position that it would not allow the opposition to dictate the pace in the emergence of new leadership of National Assembly.
Also addressing journalists yesterday at the national secretariat of the party, the Issa-Onilu, said notwithstanding the furore created by endorsement of Lawan, as candidate for the incoming Senate presidency, the party hopes to reach out to members to ensure that there will be only one person to be put forward for each position.
Contrary to reports that the party may have zoned other positions including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Issa-Onilu said the ruling party is still at work, trying to sort out details of the zoning for the remaining leadership positions at the National Assembly.
“It is not the party that will determine whether there will be election or not, and that’s what I said; but by the time we announce one person standing in, with a clear majority on the floor, and anybody says that he objects to that, then that person has to come up with a candidate and back it with his number. So there will be only one person being put forward and what do you have, a consensus,” he said.
On why the party decided to zone the Senate presidency to an individual, Issa-Onilu said the party in its own judgement believes that it will not only zone positions but that it will go as far as identifying who from a particular zone is fit and proper as a Senate president.
He said APC will read out names of its preferred candidates on the floor of both legislative chambers and urge members to rectify them on the day of the inauguration, saying the party doesn’t envisage a situation where two APC senators will stand as candidates for a position.
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The APC had earlier said it would invoke disciplinary measures on any of its members found opposing or working against the decision of the party on the choice of the National Assembly leadership.
The party's stance was made known by Issa-Onilu, after former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume opposed the adoption of Senator Ahmad Lawan as Senate president by the APC.
Ndume (APC, Borno South) told newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, March 26 that the disclosure by the APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on Monday, March 25 endorsing Lawan as president of the 9th Senate and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives was not only embarrassing but unconstitutional.
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