The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Monday, declared that his party will not share power with any party.
The chairman made this declaration during the inaugural meeting the party’s topmost echelon with its newly elected members of the House of Representatives in Abuja.
He said, unlike the dying dispensation in the 8thNational Assembly where some members of the minority party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, got some prime positions in strategic committees and the hierarchies of the two chambers based on an unwritten power sharing formula, APC will not share power with any party.
In a paper he presented at the event, the APC chairman spelt out guidelines members must follow in choosing principal officers of the House.
Oshiomhole’s voice rang out like a clap of thunder as he told the Reps-elect that the party does not need any other party to elect principal officers of the National Assembly or form government, because, according to him, APC has the numbers.
“We have the number and we shall use the number to elect the Speaker who must be member of the APC,” he declared. “We have the number and we shall use the number to elect the Deputy Speaker who must be member of the APC. We have the number and we shall use the number to elect the House Leader who must be member of the APC.
“We have the number and we shall use the number to elect the Deputy House Leader who must be member of the APC. We have the number and we shall use the number to elect the Chief Whip who must be member of the APC. We will not share the leadership of the committees with any party except the only one statutorily mandated. We will not share.
“The only position we are not interested is the Minority Leader. It belongs to the minors. Let the minors share that. If the Nigerian people who elected us had wanted us to share they would have said so.”
In a veiled reference to the roiling rumour that some powerful interests are prowling Abuja with bags of money to bribe incoming members of the National Assembly to favour them in electing principal officers and constituting committees, Oshiomhole warned the Reps-elect not to allow any divide-and-rule proposition.
“Please, don’t allow anybody to divide you,” he charged the Reps-elect. “Even if they bring one billion naira to each member, a PDP person will not be Speaker. Even if the bring one billion naira to each member, a PDP person will not be Deputy Speaker. Even if the bring one billion naira to each member, a PDP person will not be House Leader. Even if the bring one billion naira to each member, a PDP person will not be House Leader.”
Oshiomhole urged the newly elected members to be loyal to the party at all times but quickly added that “Nobody wants a rubber stamp parliament but a parliament that is robust and a parliament that will give quality representation to the people.”
He assured the incoming lawmakers that the party will solidly back them at all times but urged them to work at preserving and projecting APC progressive policies.
“We are with you,” he reiterated. “You have our backing. But you must safeguard our core values of progressive policy, not conservative.”
Oshiomhole assured that the party will back President Muhammadu Buhari solidly and work with him with absolute commitment to help him deliver good governance to Nigerians and take the country to the next level.
“We are determined to ensure the economy works for everybody,” he continued. “Together, we will work with the president to take Nigeria to the next level. We will consult widely with President widely to come up with a sensible geopolitical formula that will make every part of the country participate effectively in taking Nigeria to the next level.”
Responding, the Reps-elect thanked Oshiomhole and the party leadership for organising the forum, promising that they will not share the party’s victory with the opposition.
They swore that “never again will the party’s policies and proposals be defeated on the floor of the National Assembly. Never again will the budget be delayed. Never again will the president be ridiculed.”