..Says Party supremacy above Ndume’s ambition.
OBIORA IFOH, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC), has said its choice of Senator Ahmed Lawan as its sole candidate for the office of the Senate President in the 9th Assembly is not only final but irreversible.
Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the APC National Publicity Secretary, stated this at an interactive session with newsmen on Wednesday at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
Issa-Onilu also said the APC would not share legislative powers with the PDP because according to him, it is capable of running the government alone.
He said in every democracy, any party that had the majority number automatically produced the President of the Senate, and that Nigeria would not be an exception.
Issa-Onilu said the APC already had the number to produce the President of the Senate and other leadership positions in the Senate and House of Representatives.
He said, “Nigerians had given us more than we had in the outgoing Senate, so, we have enough in terms of numbers of Senators to elect all our officers.
“It will be an exercise in futility for the PDP to want to share from what Nigerians had taken away from them.
“We don’t need a single vote from the PDP, and in any case, we don’t actually envisage any election on that day”, the APC National Publicity Secretary said.
He said all the APC needed to do was to present its members to occupy the leadership positions in the Senate and House of Representatives as a collective decision of the party in line with its Constitution.
Issa-Onilu, however, said that the PDP was free to also nominate its candidates if it desired, but stated that the APC would not contest any position in the Senate with it, or any other opposition party.
According to him, Sen. Lawal Ahmed remained the APC’s choice for the President of the Senate in the 9th Senate.
He said that the decision had not been controverted since it was taken by the party’s leadership.
The APC spokesman said that notwithstanding the party had several other elected and returning senators with huge pedigree to choose from, Lawan was favoured among them.
“There is nothing Lawan has in the open that others don’t have, but we have to make just one choice”, he said.
On Sen. Ali Ndume’s reaction to the party’s choice of Lawan as the next President of the Senate, that the decision was not democratic, Issa-Onilu said he was free as an individual to air his grievance.
He said as a respected member of the APC, though Ndume had a right to his views, the senator must nevertheless abide by the party’s decision following the principle of party supremacy.
The APC spokesman said the party’s leadership was considering the zoning arrangement for other leadership positions in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
He re-emphasised that the APC would not share any committee Chairmanship position with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“What the PDP called juicy committees which we prefer to call strategic committees is exclusive to the APC.
“We are not going to share power with the people that Nigerians have rejected or compromise on the promises we have made to Nigerians.
“Nigerians cannot give us a mandate and we go share the mandate with those they rejected”, he said.
Issa-Onilu thanked Nigerians for their confidence in the APC and for re-electing President Muhammadu Buhari for another four-year term.
He assured that the APC-led Federal Government would re-double its efforts to move Nigeria to the next level of economic and infrastructural development.
On the non- issuance of certificate of return to Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Issa-Onilu said the APC could not intervene in the issue.
“The party cannot take any action because he is in the first instance on suspension and until that is vacated, we cannot step in on his behalf”, he said.
Speaking on the alleged involvement of Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation in Rivers politics, Issa-Onilu said the minister had not engaged in any anti-party activities.
He added that though the APC does not have governorship candidate in Rivers, the people of the state were very important to the party.
“If we have the opportunity of working with a party that will abide by our principles, it is within our right to work with such a party to ensure that we free the people of Rivers from hardship.
“Whatever has happened in Rivers, and whatever Rotimi Amaechi has done, is completely normal and acceptable to this party”, the APC Publicity Secretary said.
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