President Muhammadu Buhari hosted all House of Representatives members elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to a Tuesday dinner aimed at strategizing ahead of the 9th assembly.
Three takeaways from the meeting:
Gbajabiamila Officially Confirmed as APC Speaker Candidate: Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who represents Lagos South-West, has been officially confirmed as the party’s candidate for House Speaker.
- “The APC has adopted Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, as its candidate for the position of the speaker of the House of Representatives in the Ninth Assembly,” said APC spokesman, Lanre Issa-Onilu after the dinner.
Deputy Speaker has finally been Zoned: Also contained in Issa-Onilu’s statement, was the detail on which zone the party prefers to produce the deputy speaker.
- “The Deputy Speaker’s position has been zoned to the North-Central,” he said.
APC monopoly: In his own statement at the dinner, the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, maintained his position on leadership in the National Assembly, saying, that it was important that the party controls all leadership spots in the house.
“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.”
Urging members not to share with the opposition, he said, If Nigerians wanted them, they could have voted them.
1 stubborn thing: There were signs that the APC was softening its stand on working with the PDP in the national assembly, but Oshiomhole’s comments show that the party is standing firm.
Bottom Line: The APC is increasingly confident of its standing in the two chambers of the national assembly and does not expect any upsets this time. The party is right about how most democracies function. With its overwhelming majority in the national assembly, the APC does not need to share leadership positions with members of the opposition, who may share dissimilar views.