New House leadership: Opposition Reps-elect plot to upstage APC
The House of Representatives members-elect of the Peoples Democratic Party, the Labour Party and other opposition parties have formed an alliance ahead of the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly, with the aim of determining the leadership of the parliament.
Against the background of the moves by the ruling All Progressives Party to zone the house leadership, the opposition lawmakers insisted that they have the numbers to override the APC’s plans and do whatever they want.
The lawmakers-elect met in Abuja on Tuesday night where they fine-tuned strategies for using their numbers as bargaining power in their negotiations with the speakership aspirants.
The PUNCH gathered that the opposition lawmakers-elect, at the meeting, planned to work together to influence the election of the 10th House of Representatives leadership.
So far, no fewer than 10 persons have indicated interests in being the speaker of the green chamber.
At their Tuesday strategy meeting, the lawmakers-elect unanimously formed a group, ‘10th Assembly: Greater Majority.’
In attendance were old and newly elected members of the House on the platforms of the PDP, the LP, the New Nigeria People’s Party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, the Social Democratic Party, the African Democratic Congress and the Young Progressives Party.
Also present at the parley were ranking members of the House, including Oluwole Oke (PDP/Osun), Beni Lar (PDP/Plateau), Boma Goodhead (PDP/Rivers), Bamidele Salam (PDP/Osun), Dachung Bagos (PDP/Plateau), and Jonathan Gbefwi (SDP/Nasarawa), as well as a former ranking member, Abdulmumin Jibrin (NNPP/Kano), who has been reelected back to the parliament.
Out of the results so far declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, the APC won 162 seats in the House while the opposition parties claimed 163 seats.
Speaking with The PUNCH on Wednesday, one of the organisers of the meeting, Ali Isa, said the opposition parties had the numbers to get what they wanted.
He stated “For now, the opposition has not taken any decision. We are still consulting. But we have the numbers to do anything we want.
“All the political parties, – LP, APGA, YPP, SDP, ADC and PDP – came together to be united; to also see what we can do to help this country. As I earlier said a few days ago, the National Assembly is an arm of the government and we as lawmakers are ready to work for the country; we are ready to ensure that every bill that will change the life of the common man sees the light of the day in the Assembly.
“We will also appreciate if the executive will allow the lawmakers to enjoy independence. We will also not interfere in the affairs of the executive.”
According to him, the opposition lawmakers will not recognise the zoning of the leadership positions by the APC.