As the jostle for leadership positions in the ninth National Assembly gathers momentum, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it will ensure that the party’s decisions are respected by members in electing the principal officers.
The position of the ruling party is coming as the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan, has said that his ambition to lead the ninth Senate is predicated on his vision to run a National Assembly that would sustain positive change for the good of Nigerians.
We will enforce party discipline. And you have seen what we have done to our very important and mighty party men
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 who emerges as the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Lanre Isa-Onilu, assured Nigerians that the party would not allow a repeat of what led to the crisis within its caucus at the National Assembly at the onset of the out-going legislature.
He said that the party would apply the principle of party supremacy in handling the emergence of new leadership of the incoming National Assembly. According to him, “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 subscribes 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.”
But the APC spokesman said 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. Onilu explained why the ruling party should hold the aces: “You see, what you get in advanced democracies under the presidential system of government is that the winner takes all.
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.
“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.