The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has appealed to the members of the party in the House of Representatives and the Senate to reconvene the parliament by all legal means.
The National Assembly, which is currently on its usual break, has been asked to reconvene by the government and the ruling party to address pending issues of national interest.
Last week, it was announced the parliament will reconvene on Tuesday. However, Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, in a joint statement on Tuesday said the parliament would not resume yet. Mr Saraki recently defected to the opposition PDP while Mr Dogara is still officially a member of the APC, although he is also expected to defect.
Mr Oshiomhole made his appeal during a meeting between the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and its federal lawmakers.
While commending its members in the National Assembly for their commitment in carrying out the promises of the party, he said if this is not done the country might face government shut down as the government cannot spend what is not approved.
He urged the party members to do everything they can lawfully to get the National Assembly reconvened so that these national issues would be deliberated upon and appropriate decisions reached.
He added that they should do whatever is needed to prevent a possible government shutdown.
The Deputy Speaker of the House, Yusuf Lasun, also speaking at the opening of the meeting, expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that the National Assembly failed to reconvene on Tuesday.
“I am not particularly happy that we could not hold our plenary today and possibly tomorrow because we decided few days back that we are going to sit and consider those items that are very important and may likely hamper the functioning of INEC and possibly part of the programme of which without the implementation of the capital budget for 2018 will have been be difficult.”
The House Leader, Femi Gbajiabiamila, who was also present at the meeting, said members must find a way to reconvene the Senate and address the necessary issues having made the sacrifice to stay back.
“We have to find a way to reconvene the House because as it is, we are heading to a constitutional crisis that might lead to inevitable government shutdown because (of) two things that need to be done, the funding of the election and the funding of the budget.
“I am not happy. (I am) using this opportunity to appeal to the presiding officers to allow us reconvene for this singular purpose. It’s just a one day exercise so we can all go on our holiday.
“A lot of members here today were supposed to be in Saudi today. We had to actually go to the hajj commission and had their flights delayed. Today was the last day but they made them delay the last flight till Thursday in the hope that we will convene today and tomorrow and pass what is necessary.”
Speaking on the majority the party has in the House, he said the APC has a clear majority with about 40 members above the main opposition PDP which it said it will use to pursue the agenda of the party. Mr Gbajabiamila said he also believes there are lawmakers of the PDP who would support the cause of the APC.