The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has again restated that the decision on its preferred candidate for the position of the next Senate President is final.
“We have decided who will be the next Senate President according to what democratic principles allow and that person is Senator Ahmed Lawan,” the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lanre Isa-Onilu, said.
According to him, zoning formula for the remaining positions in the Senate and those in the House of Representatives was however still being worked out.
“That has been done and announced, it is left for the party to cross the‘t’s and dot the ‘i’s to get that sorted out.
“My emphasis is on the fact that we are not going to share powers, including what the PDP people call juicy committees and we call strategic committees, with people that Nigerians have rejected. They are exclusive for the APC.
“We don’t need them to head any committee where they are going to compromise the promises we have made to Nigerians.
“Nigerians cannot give us a mandate and we will go and give part of it to those they have rejected. We cannot betray the people of this country and we will never do it. The zoning arrangement for all the other positions is in the works.
“Just as the media and Nigerians have been informed about who our preferred candidate for the Senate Presidency is, we will come out to tell you what the zoning formula will be for the remaining positions in the Senate and also in the House of Representatives very shortly.”
He further stated that the party would make nationwide consultation among party leaders.
“It is democracy. I have listened to the PDP and in their usual style, they exhibited gross ignorance. What we practise in Nigeria is called presidential system of government. In this type of government, it is winners take all. Once you win, you take whatever you want. There is no room for power sharing.
“We don’t need it because we don’t need them (the PDP) to run this government. We have enough number to run this government. In any case, when we were campaigning, we never told Nigerians that we were going to share power with any other party.
“What we told them was that they should entrust power to us. As it is clear that we have made good use of power in the last four years, we are going to make better use of it in the next four years.
“Nigerians accepted this. It will be a betrayal of that trust to go ahead and start sharing power with a party, particularly the PDP, that has been rejected by Nigerians.
“They were banking on the experience of the last four years when some traitors within the APC fold sold our birthright to an opposition party. Some people now took that to be the new norm. It is not. In fact, that action was not democratic. It was treachery.
Isa-Onilu further revealed that election might not hold on the floor of the senate, adding that names of its preferred candidates will only be named.
“We have enough number to elect all our officers. We don’t need a single vote from the PDP. In any case, we don’t actually envisage any election on that day because we are going to present our members that will occupy these positions.
“All our members are very experienced politicians who understand what this means. When we get to the floor, we are going to read out the names. If the PDP so desire, it can bring its candidates up. Since the party does not have the number, it will be an exercise in futility for the PDP to nurse the ambition to share from what Nigerians have taken away from them.
“There are positions for minority parties; the APC will not contest those positions with minority parties. They belong to them.”
Regarding the grievance of Senator Ali Ndume who has also expressed his desire to emerge as Senate President, the APC spokesman said that the senator must obey the party’s position since he had signed to be a member of the APC.
Kalu says he must contest for Deputy Senate President
Meanwhile, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, a former Governor of Abia State, has revealed that he will contest the position of the deputy senate president.
“I am a very loyal party man. The party has zoned the Senate presidency position to the North-East and I want to respect the party’s will. But the second position is what we are not going to allow to leave the South-East,” Kalu told journalists at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, yesterday.
“So, as far as I am concerned, in the South-East, I am going to run openly on the floor of the house for the position of the Deputy Senate President.
“I am not going to listen to the party neither will I listen to anybody. Nobody that wants to be the Deputy Senate President is more loyal than I am to the party.”
Senate spokesman, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, however in his response to the statement of Kalu noted that no APC senator will go against the party’s decision.
“I don’t have the idea on what the party is doing on the position of the Deputy Senate Presidency. The party will ensure that a senator from each of the geopolitical zones benefit from the leadership positions, that is, two presiding officers and the four principal officers.”
“Oshiomhole was actually talking to those in the majority. The majority will have their way while the minority will have their say but the two must co-exist.
“Let me tell you very clearly that we have been engaging our colleagues in the PDP and I will tell you that majority of them are actually working for us to see that we have a harmonious, rancour-free, non-tumultuous Senate.
“Our colleagues in the PDP are not interested in any fight. We are engaging them and we are talking. They know the truth and I know that we shall work together and succeed together.”
The senate spokesman further revealed that the decision to pick Senator Lawan was after due consultations, adding that the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, had announced Senator Lawan as its next senate president with the knowledge of President Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“I was at the dinner along with other APC senators-elect, the National Chairman of our party, Adams Oshiomhole, never made any announcement or submission that can be described by anybody as imposition.
“He said in the spirit of avoiding what happened in 2015, the party leadership along with the Presidency, gave the required direction for the party as regards the position of President of the 9th Senate in a very persuasive and convincing tone and recommended Senator Ahmed Lawan for the position.
“The recommendation was spontaneously and instantaneously applauded by all the APC senators-elect in attendance without anybody dissenting.
“So, for Senator Ndume to later tell a story of imposition and shock through his media briefing, is nothing but being economical with the truth,” he said.