The Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan, on Saturday, dismissed the chances of victory for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2019.
Mr Lawan said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will not only retain power but also form majority at the National Assembly.
The lawmaker from Yobe State said the next National Assembly will be dominated and led by the legislators from the ruling party.
Mr Lawan spoke with PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday in Bauchi State, during the party’s zonal stakeholder’s meeting that held in the state capital.
He said the APC and its Senate caucus is not worried by the wave of defections that plagued the ruling party before and after the primaries.
The Nigerian National Assembly is currently led by the opposition party despite the slight majority of the APC.
Mr Lawan who dismissed the candidature of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the flag bearer of the PDP, said integrity and historical track record will inform the choice of who becomes the next president.
He said APC has, in the last three and half years, impressed Nigerians and exposed the failures of PDP’s 26 years of rule.
“APC as a political party today, especially in the Senate, and the APC Senate caucus, is more united than ever before,” said Mr Lawan.
“The defections in National Assembly, particularly, really left us with no options than continue to be united; continue to remain focused; continue to be supportive of President Buhari; to continue the support for our political party APC at all times.
“The 2019 general election, especially the National Assembly legislative elections will produce a majority in the Senate and House of Representatives, by the grace of God, for APC.
“And this time around, let me say without fear of any contradiction that the members of the House of Reps and senators that will be produced by the APC will be those that will continue to support President Muhammadu Buhari in whatever way he wants to lead Nigeria; that is to make Nigeria better; bring change in Nigeria, and take Nigeria to the next level. We are all prepared to give him all the possible support.
“Secondly, we are prepared to remain very loyal to our party, the APC; the decision of our party on all matters will continue to remain supreme.
“What Nigerians would expect is an APC-dominated National Assembly; both the Senate and House that will be very transformative in its orientation; an APC dominated National Assembly that will continue to identify with aspirations of Nigerians as espoused by the APC manifesto and programmes of APC.
“Nigerians should expect an APC dominated National Assembly that will continue to remain committed to partnering, consulting and cooperating with Mr President Muhammadu Buhari; and an APC dominated National that will not witness any defections.”
He said the exit of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara from APC has only strengthened the party.
“We have known for a long time that there were people who took advantage of the APC in 2015 and therefore they rode into the National Assembly as members of the party. By the grace of God, our party was sanitised when they left.
“Those that have remained are committed, very loyal and patriotic citizens of this country and will continue to remain really responsible and responsive to Nigerians wishes and to our party’s programs and manifesto.
“It is a decision for someone to defect but let me tell you that we already have finished our primaries; those that have emerged are people of integrity, people of orientation that will continue to be a guiding light for this country.
“I want to say that, at the moment, our worry is not for those that have left; our worry is for those that are in.
“Our main concern is for those that will win elections; that will remain committed to our party; that will remain loyal and committed to our administration.
“And by the grace of God President Muhammadu Buhari will be elected and APC will dominate the Senate as the majority party, and it will do the same in the House of Representatives by the grace of God.”
The senator also argued that President Buhari’s performance has attracted new support for the president and the party.
“I want to tell you that there are so many people who, before this time, did not believe in any political party,” he said. “But after seeing what President Muhammadu Buhari has done, with the little resources at his disposal across country, have now decided to give their support for President Buhari even when they don’t believe in a political party.
“So many have also told themselves that they now believe that APC is ready to bring positive change to Nigeria;
“I want to say that the 2019 general elections will be determined by integrity; the 2019 general elections will be determined by the history of candidates.”
The senator also spoke on the privatisation of public facilities executed by the past PDP aspirations. He said Mr Buhari is not someone that believes in a corrupt privatisation process.
“We know what other candidates of the other parties were before; we know what they didn’t do for us; we know what they did to Nigeria, in the area of destroying Nigeria. They privatised our common patrimony; they sold everything that was government to themselves; and they also intend, if they come back, God forbids, to sell the remaining things to themselves.
“We are not going to accept this, President Muhammadu Buhari never desires or intends to do anything like that. Whatever he does is for the interest of Nigeria; whatever he does is for the future of Nigeria. And we believe that Nigerians know these facts and therefore we do not have to do so much in the area of campaign.
“But let me remind Nigerians that when President Muhammadu Buhari came in 2015, Nigeria’s revenue and resources were down; and yet go across Nigeria and see the kind of projects that this government under his leadership is putting on all parts of Nigeria.
“In 2014 and 2015 the PDP administration of former President Jonathan Goodluck spent only 15 per cent of the annual budget.
“But today we spent over N2 trillion between 2015 and 2018 and we are to spend 2.8 million dollars this year for the 2018 budget.
“We are doing so much with so little and I want to assure that Nigerians are not blind or deaf; Nigerian are wise and I want to advise that we will continue to remain focused, that nobody should receive us.
“They (PDP) had power and we know how they misused power. They made us suffer; they created Boko Haram; just like a late NSA from Bayelsa State had once said; PDP created Boko Haram; the APC demolished Boko Haram.
“So far so good, the president is on his way to a resounding victory, by the grace of God.”