The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has said that lawmakers of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the House of Representatives will not be appointed as chairmen of committees in the next parliament.
Speaking at a dinner hosted by President Muhammadu Buhari for elected APC lawmakers on Tuesday, Mr Oshiomhole said the decision is because the APC has learnt from the ”mistake” of 2015 when members not loyal to the party were allowed to assume leadership positions in the National Assembly.
The dinner held inside the Banquet Hall of the State House Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara emerged against the wish of the APC in 2015. Both men, elected on the APC platform in 2015, had the support of PDP lawmakers and appointed some of them as committee chairpersons. Both men defected to the PDP in 2018.
Mr Oshiomhole on Tuesday said even as APC members, Messrs Saraki and Dogara were hostile to the APC administration led by Mr Buhari.
He accused the duo of creating tension in the system, delaying budget needlessly and creating all sorts of 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 lesson.
”Out of 223 APC elected members, 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 360, Nigerians elected 223 APC members because they don’t want Mr President to face the trauma of 2015, ” he said.
The APC chairman said the House of Representatives has 96 committees and that all re-elected members will chair strategic committees, adding ”even new members will chair committees this time around.”
He said the decision is sequel to the fact that most of those who decamped from the APC were rejected by Nigerians during the election and “even those who led it were uprooted by the Otoge movement in Kwara State.”
“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 committee were chaired by PDP members,” he said.
Mr Oshiomhole also said Mr. Buhari and the leadership of the party do not expect the National Assembly to be a rubber stamp.
He said, however, that they will operate like a typical African family where issues are discussed in closed door.
“The good news,” he said, “is that there is a role for everyone.”
“Both the re-elected and new members are entitled to heading committees
“We have asked our people not to share what belongs to us with other party members.
“I don’t have apologies against forces of retrogression,” Mr Oshiomhole said.
The party chairman’s stance comes a day after the APC said its elected lawmakers consulting with the PDP were right to do so.
Femi Gbajabiamila, the Lagos lawmaker favoured to be the next House speaker by APC leaders, is one of those consulting with PDP members.