Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole last night said that the party will not share Committee Chairmanship with the opposition party in the ninth National Assembly.
This is as Oshiomhole has presented current Majority Leader of the House, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila as the adopted candidate of the party for the speakership position.
Mr Abdulmumini Jibrin, Gbajabiamila Campaign Director, confirmed to newsmen that he (Gbajabiamila) was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari.
But a source at the meeting said, Mr Buhari declined to make comment on Gbajabiamila.
According to the source, Mr Ahmed Wase (APC, Plateau) stood up after the presentation of Gbajabiamila to express surprise, that after meeting Mr. President to step down from the position of the speaker and take over as deputy speaker, his name was not mentioned at the dinner for the position.
Special Adviser to the President for Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, told State House Correspondents that Buhari called for unity among party members.
Adesina said: “90-95 percent of them are in unison, 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.”
APC Chairman while making his remarks at the dinner hosted by Buhari for House of Representatives members-elect at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said that APC has about 223 members-elect out of the 360 House members and that 67 were re-elected for the ninth assembly, adding that there was no room for coalition with the opposition as ruling APC has two-third to carryout any legislative business including amendment of the constitution.
According to him “Mr President on your behalf we have had a meeting, NWC with new members of the House of Representative elect who are yet to be sworn in and later they were joined by the re-elected members. And so we had an APC caucus of the house of representatives which was held some weeks ago at Yardua center.
“Your excellency, I found that meeting very revealing just listening to the quality of intervention made by new members yet to be inaugurated.
“I am convinced sir, Nigerians have a very wise choice in electing members in 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 recognise that Nigerians realise 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. The fact that people elected on the platform of our party even in the face of pronouncements of the supreme Court that it is parties that win elections not candidates.
“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 360, 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 PDP or opposition.
“If Nigerians wanted them, they could have voted them. In the days of PDP, every committee was chaired by PDP members.
Describing the present leadership of the National Assembly as selfish, greedy, he said, “We do not need to do business with the devil for us to survive in the ninth Assembly.
“In African family, we sit down in a closed door to address issues, the good news is that there is a role for everyone.
“Neither Mr President nor the party expects National Assembly to be rubber stamps, we don’t have rubbers…But we will not fight in Wuse market.
“Both the re-elected and new members are entitled to heading committees.
“We have asked our people not to share what belongs to us with other party members.
“I don’t have apologies against forces of retrogression.”
Gbajabiamila’s main challenger, Chairman Committee on Agricultural Productions and Services, Mr Muhammad Monguno had last week withdrawn from the race for Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives.
Monguno, who represents Marte/Monguno/Nganzai Federal Constituency of Borno State, said Gbajabiamila was the most qualified among all contenders.
Still in the race are House spokesman Abdulrazak Namdas (APC, Adamawa), Ahmed Wase (APC, Plateau), Chike Okafor from Imo State who declared his intention yesterday and Umar Bago (APC, Niger).
Those in attendance were Secretary to Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff, Mr Abba Kyari, among others.