The All Progressives Congress, APC has said it is not against the reported moves by Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan of meeting with Senators-elect on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in his bid to become the President of the 9th Senate.
APC National Publicity Sercretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu made this known in a press statement he made available to journalists on Sunday.
The statement negates the stand of the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, that the party does not need the PDP to make its candidates win presiding officers in the National Assembly.
Oshiomhole had stated that the party was not ready to share chairmanship of any committee in the National Assembly with the opposition party.
But Issa-Onilu in his statement said the moves reported to have been taken by the party’s preferred candidate for the Senate President seat was not alien to democracy.
“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 a 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,” Issa-Onilu said in his statement.
Reports gather that Lawan met with three governors of the PDP in a bid to brighten his chances of clinching the coveted position.
He met separately with Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as well as Imo State governor-elect Emeka Ihedioha in Abuja where he sought their support for his Senate presidency bid, the paper said.
“It was just to reassure PDP stakeholders of his readiness to work and cooperate with them, nothing more,” a source who was privy to the meetings said