APC presents Gbajabiamila to Buhari for House Speakership

April 18, 2019

Oshiomhole: It’s been difficult managing Buhari’s presidency

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday officially presented the leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to President Muhammadu Buhari as the speaker of the green chamber in the ninth National Assembly.

Abdulmumuni Jubril, Campaign Director General of Gbajabiamila for the speakership, told State House Correspondents shortly after a dinner hosted by President Buhari for re-elected and new members of the lower chambers yesterday.
The APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, last night announced the zoning of principal offices.

He said the party after its meeting with the President, zoned the House Speaker to South-West, with the Majority Leader of the House, Gbajabiamila, as consensus candidate of the party.
Also announced was the zoning of the Deputy Speaker to the North Central.

Onilu, in the message said: “APC has adopted Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as its candidate for the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 9th Assembly. This position was reached after an intensive deliberation with the APC’s House of Representatives members-elect at a dinner with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Banquet Hall of Aso Villa.
“The Deputy Speaker position has been zoned to the North-Central.”

With this development, the party was yet to zone the Deputy Senate President, Senate Leader, Deputy Senate Leader, Chief Whip and Deputy Chief Whip. Also to be zoned are Majority Leader of the House, Deputy Majority Leader, House Whip and Deputy House Whip. Speaking during the opening session of the dinner, Oshiomhole disclosed that it has been difficult managing the the presidency in the last three and a half years under President Buhari.

He said the hostile environment provided by the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives made it difficult for critical decisions of interest to the party that needed legislation to be taken in the National Assembly.
The APC chairman noted that: “We have had very difficult moment managing your presidency because of the hostile environment we have had in the National Assembly. They delay budget, decline approval of nominees, yet they were APC members.”
Oshiomhole vowed that the APC will not allow a repeat of the 2015 experience in the emergence of the leadership of the National Assembly.

“This meeting is to persuade us to try to manage the leadership of the National Assembly in a typical African way recognizing that at any point in time there can only be only one speaker and leader. There is role for everyone,” he added.

Continuing, Oshiomhole noted that: “The NWC had a meeting with reps-elect, three weeks ago and it was very revealing, their intervention is a clear confirmation that Nigerians did not make mistake by electing them. They have deep knowledge of the constitution which would confused many that they were not first timers but seasoned lawmakers. They all on their own, speaker after speaker, across the zone, pledged to work together for PMB to leave him, landmark foundation for a new Nigeria.”

Speaking further, Oshiomhole described the present leadership of the National Assembly under Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara as hostile, noting that they created tension in the system, delayed budget needlessly, and created all obstacles to frustrate the government.

“In life, mistakes are permitted but it becomes a problem if the mistake is repeated twice. We are determined not to repeat the mistakes of 2015 in 2019. We have learnt our lessons.”
He said luckily, out of 223 APC elected members, about 67 were re-elected, the rest are new members.

“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.
“Most of those who decamped were rejected and even those who led it were uprooted. We cannot as a party which has a comfortable majority, entrust critical committees in the hands of the PDP or opposition.
“If Nigerians wanted them, they could have voted them. In the days of PDP, every important committee was chaired by PDP members,” he stressed.