Though details of what transpired at the dinner hosted in honor of the APC House of Representatives members-elect at the Presidential Villa , on Tuesday, are gradually emerging. APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, however, made it clear that the party will not share Committee Chairmanship positions with the opposition party in the ninth National Assembly. The current Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, who had earlier been endorsed by the pary had the support for his candidature reaffirmed by Oshiomole. Hon. Abdulmumini Jibrin, who is the Campaign Director for Gbajabiamila, confirmed to newsmen that he (Gbajabiamila) was presented to President Buhari as the party’s endorsed candidate. Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, also told State House Correspondents that Buhari called for unity among the party members. ‘90-95 percent of them are in unison, they seem to agree on the position of the party..Unanimity ran through the meeting. We cannot speak for five percent. The President urged them to maintain the unity referring to what transpired in 2015…if there is disunity in their ranks, then anything can happen. He urged them to maintain the unity and stand by the position of the party’ he said.
Oshiomole, noted that the APC has about 223 members-elect out of the 360 members-elect and that 67 current members are returning to the green chamber , thus, there would be no room for coalition with the opposition as the ruling APC has the required two-third to carry out any legislative business including the amendment of the constitution.
‘Mr President, on your behalf, we have had a meeting, the NWC with the new House of Representatives members- elect who are yet to be sworn in and later they were joined by the re-elected members We had also held an APC caucus of the house of representatives some weeks ago at the Yardua Center. Your excellency, I found the said meeting very revealing just listening to the quality of intervention made by the new members yet to be inaugurated. I am convinced sir, that Nigerians have made a very wise choice in electing the members of the house of representatives. They demonstrated deep knowledge of the challenges that we face. They acknowledged the need to work together as a party. I think they recognized that Nigerians realized that we have gone through some avoidable difficulties in managing your first term because we have what I can easily describe as a hostile leadership of the national assembly and there is no better evidence to this than the fact that people are elected on the platform of the party as supported by Supreme Court pronouncements that it is the political parties that win elections and not the candidates. They were elected on the basis of our platform, they were beneficiaries of the party and when it suits them they decamped and turned us to a minority and created tension in the system, they refused to approve or even consider nominees from His excellency for various positions, delayed budget needlessly in order to make implementation difficult and created all sorts of obstacles that you will think that the National Assembly was dominated by members of the opposition yet they were APC members. For me sir, what I have found in life is that there is nothing wrong once you admit that you are human, mistakes are expected but it can only become a problem if we repeat mistakes twice. From the lessons we have learnt from what happened in 2015 we are determined that in 2019 we will not repeat those mistakes.
We draw the apropriate lessons from those mistakes and we move on. If you are elected, it means you are tested and trusted. Out of the 223 APC elected members, about 67 were re-elected, the rest are new members.
In other climes, you don’t go into coalition when you are in the majority, you do so when you don’t have the numbers. We have the numbers, out of 306, Nigerians elected 223 APC members because they don’t want Mr. president to face the trauma of 2015. Most of those who decamped were rejected and even those who led it were uprooted. We cannot as a party which has a comfortable majority, entrust critical committees in the hands of the PDP or the opposition. If Nigerians wanted them, they could have voted them. In the days of the PDP, every committee was chaired by the PDP members’ he said.
Oshiomole , however, dropped onslaughts at the doorsteps of the current leadership of the National Assembly as he accused them of being selfish and greedy. ‘We do not need to do business with the devil for us to survive in the ninth Assembly’ he submitted