By Ismaila Chafe
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has insisted that the governing party with majority of senators and members-elect in the 9th National Assembly would not allow the opposition to hijack strategic Committees.
APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole stated this at a dinner hosted by President Muhammadu Buhari for all the party’s Senators, Senators-elect and some APC state governors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday.
The APC chairman disclosed that the essence of the dinner was to plan on how to manage leadership of the national assembly to ensure that there would be no business with the opposition this time around.
He revealed that the party, with about 65 Senators-elect and 223 House of Representatives members-elect out of the 360, was in the position to make and take decisions without necessarily seeking the support of the opposition at the national assembly.
He mocked the 15 out of the 16 APC Senators that defected to other parties saying that “Nigerians punished them”, noting that, “the one that God left was for him to entertain the house”, apparently making reference to Sen. Dino Melaye.
“We are far ahead of the main opposition in the parliament. 223 out of 360 we have all the numbers required to make all the laws in the national assembly.
“Only one out of 16 APC senators that decamped won election, it is the way God wants to punish them for us.
“Nigerians have decided to bless us with huge majority in the National Assembly because they want a vibrant government.
“God has given us the numbers to support your change government so that Nigerians especially the poor can benefit.
“We need to look inward and learn the right lesson from what happened in 2015. This time around, the strategic committees which were in the hands of opposition, we will ensure our members take charge.
“To do so, we thought it is important to sit down with you as our father (President Buhari) to discuss how the leadership of the national assembly will emerge.
“The purpose is to congratulate you and to provide a platform for the senators-elect to interact with you.
On Ifeanyi Ubah, who was among the senators-elect at the dinner, Oshiomhole described him as a smart politician for joining the APC.
Ubah was elected as senator on Feb. 23 under the platform of the Young Progressive Party before announcing his defection to APC recently.
Those in attendance included the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, governors of Kogi, Jigawa, Oyo, Kaduna, Kebbi, Zamfara, Borno, Yobe, Plateau, Osun and Lagos states.
The Senators-elect at the event included all those who had directly or indirectly indicated interest to contest for the seat of President of the Senate in the 9th National Assembly.
Prominent among the prospective contestants for the Senate leadership are Ahmed Lawan, Danjuma Goje and Ali Ndume all from Northeast zone of the country and Abdullahi Adamu from the North Central zone.