The All Progressives Congress (APC) will ensure that leadership positions and key committee chairmanship of the 9th National Assembly are retained for its elected members, its chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, has said.
Mr Oshiomhole made this known while meeting with new members-elect of the House of Representatives on Monday.
He said of the 223 APC members that won House of Representatives seats, 164 will be first-time members.
The APC chairman urged the members-elect to work towards ensuring that key positions are all held by APC members.
“We have the number to produce speaker and will produce the speaker who must be a member of the APC. We have the number and we will use the number to produce the Deputy Speaker who must be a member of the APC. We have the number and we will use the number to elect the House Leader who must be a member of the APC. We have the number and we will use the number to elect the Chief Whip and deputy who must be a member of the APC. The only position that we are not interested in is the minority leader.
“We will not share power in the House of Representatives. The leadership must ensure that critical committees that drive government are chaired only by APC members. If Nigerians want the opposition to chair committees they would have voted for them. All chairmen of committees, except one that I understand that is statutorily reserved for opposition and that is public accounts. They can have that.
“We will not do the kind of thing that happened the last time in which some APC members, as members of the ruling party, became distant spectators in the management of committees.”
His warning is informed by the party’s experience at the 8th assembly where key principal positions fell into the hands of individuals different from those endorsed by the party.
Mr Oshiomole said the APC is aware of a scheme by the PDP to create divisions within the APC. He warned the members-elect against such connivance.
“We are aware that they believe they can use divide and rule by sponsoring many people within our ranks to contest for the positions so that they then become the kingmakers and in return, the person will offer them some chairmanship seats. Honourable members and comrades, I am sure we are not going to do business with them.”
He further tasked the members-elect to remain in unison as reflected in the party’s logo.
This he said will help in the achievement of the three major goals of the Buhari government.
“For us to be able to enjoy our numerical strength in the House of Reps, we must recognise that we are elected on a party platform.
“We have called this meeting to remind us that we have a huge task ahead of us. As people who are politically active, you are certainly familiar with issues that brought down the government between 2015 and 2019 arising from a unique concussion which I pray this time around we’ll have all learnt lessons and allow the positive side of those lessons to shape our future as we move on preparatory to inaugurating the 9th Senate.
“Our president reminded us that the three critical issues on which we campaigned in 2015 are still valid in 2019. Namely; doing everything possible to turn the economy around. If Nigeria produce what we consume, our economy will grow even in double digit and that growth will reflect in the quality of life of our people.
“Nigeria had spent billions importing rice over the years. Where the previous government had contradiction is that they claim to be promoting agriculture, on the other hand, they were busy issuing import licences for people to import rice and most of the time they imported expired rice. The result was that we were 90 per cent dependent on imported rice.”
In contrast, he claimed that 90 per cent of rice consumed by Nigerians is locally produced.
“Today, based on the consistency and commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari, we are proud to say that if Nigeria is eating rice today, about 90 per cent of that rice is produced by Nigerians in Nigeria,” he said.