The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday cleared the way for its members in the National Assembly to negotiate with members of the opposition in their bid to occupy principal positions in both chambers of the legislature.
The party said it was democratic thing to do.
APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa –Onilu, said in a statement the party was not averse to its members seeking cooperation with other legislators as it was confident in their ability not to betray the party.
There has been reports of Senator Ahmed Lawan holding meetings with members of the opposition but Issa- Onilu said Lawan was adopted by the party for the position in the first place because of his ability to carry everyone along, which is needed for such position.
He also disclosed that the party will announce its zoning arrangement for the National Assembly leadership in the coming days.
The statement reads: “We are inundated with reports of our members in the National Assembly holding consultations with members of the opposition over the election of leaders into the 9th National Assembly. Let me state that our party has no objection to such consultations.
“It is a normal democratic practice world over to stretch hands across the divides. And contrary to some media reports, the actions of our members do not contradict the party’s position. APC has comfortable majority in both chambers. Therefore; we have the number to produce the leadership.
“But democracy recognises the importance of the opposition especially when you do not have two-third which would be required at some very critical situations.
“For us as a ruling party, we understand that a stable and peaceful National Assembly would enhance our capacity to deliver more for the people of Nigeria.
“So the party is not averse to negotiation by Senator Ahmed Lawan and our other Senators-elect working to fulfil the position taken by our party.
“It is important to note that one of the key considerations for adopting him as the party’s candidate for the Senate Presidency is his ability to carry everyone along.
“On top of that, the party has confidence in him not to compromise the progressive ideology of APC.
“So clearly, Senator Ahmed Lawan is capable of conducting his negotiations within the prism of APC’s objectives.”
On the issue of zoning and leadership of House of Representatives, Issa-Onilu assured the party will put to rest ongoing agitations and “will soon release the zoning arrangements for the principal positions of the incoming 9th National Assembly.
“The party will also make its position clear in the coming days on the principal positions in the House of Representatives.”