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APC will work out sensible zoning formula – Oshiomhole

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has said the ruling party will not cede its leadership positions in the House of Representatives to opposition.

Oshiomhole said this on Monday in Abuja at a meeting convened by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) with newly elected members of the House of Representatives.

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He said the party would also ensure that all critical committees, except public accounts which was constitutionally ceded to opposition, were chaired by APC members in the lower chamber of National Assembly.

The party boss, who said what happened during the composition of the current National Assembly would not be allowed again, stated that the APC would work out a sensible zoning formula that would accommodate all geo-political zones to produce leadership without rancour.

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He said the positions of Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Majority Leader, Deputy Majority Leader, Chief Whip, and Deputy Chief Whip except those meant for the opposition including Minority Leader would be occupied by APC members.

“We will carry out extensive consultation with the President of the country, President Muhammadu Buhari, and party leaders and respect geo-political zones. We will work out a sensible zoning formula that carries everybody along. That way, we will be able to have a leadership without rancour,” he said.

Oshiomhole said with 223 elected members out of which 164 were new comers to the lower chamber, the APC could garner two-third to amend the constitution, occupy its elective positions, and provide legislative backing to party agenda and manifestoes, boost the economy, strengthen the anti-graft war, and solve the security challenges.

He said the federal government needed a collaborative and imaginative National Assembly to take the country to the next level.

He assured the lawmakers of the party’s readiness to stand by them with the hope that the gesture would be reciprocated with unity of purpose, loyalty and shared commitment.

He urged the lawmakers to embrace unity, shun financial inducement, and pursue similar agenda with the executive to fast-track development.

Oshiomhole said, “We have the number to produce Speaker and will produce the Speaker who must be a member of the APC. We have the number and we will use the number to produce the Deputy Speaker who must be a member of the APC.

“We have the number and we will use the number to elect the House Leader who must be a member of the APC. We have the number and we will use the number to elect the Chief Whip and deputy who must be a member of the APC. The only position that we are not interested in is the minority leader.

“We will not share power in the House of Representatives. The leadership must ensure that critical committees that drive government are chaired only by APC members.

“If Nigerians want the opposition to chair committees they would have voted for them. All chairmen of committees, except one that I understand that is statutorily reserved for opposition and that is public accounts. They can have that.

“We will not do the kind of thing that happened the last time in which some APC members, as members of the ruling party, became distant spectators in the management of committees.

“For us to be able to enjoy our numerical strength in the House of Reps, we must recognise that we are elected on a party platform.

“We have called this meeting to remind us that we have a huge task ahead of us. As people who are politically active, you are certainly familiar with issues that brought down the government between 2015 and 2019 arising from a unique concussion which I pray this time around we’ll have all learnt lessons and allow the positive side of those lessons to shape our future as we move on preparatory to inaugurating the 9th Senate.”

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