NASS leadership: Buhari, governors, senators-elect agree on consensus candidates



President Muhammadu Buhari, leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), governors and senators elected on the platform of the party Monday night agreed the President of the Senate would emerge through consensus. 

National chairman of APC Mr Adams Oshiomhole, who disclosed this at the end of a meeting of the party’s stakeholders meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, said the party settled for a consensus candidate in order to in order to avoid a repeat of what happened in 2015.

“We had the first meeting with the president who is also the leader of the party  and also with serving senators, newly elected senators and ranking senators. The whole purpose of this is to bond the new and old members, to establish a new of relationship between the executive and the legislature. 

“The system talks about the separation of powers between the executive and legislature and the two must handshake for things to happen. And when you have a president that is determined to drive changes, fundamental changes that will affect our habits, our life style, review the economy, deal with the security situation, fight corruption as fiercely as he is trying to do, he will need a very supportive legislative arm of government. 

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“And happily, the Nigerian people have given us the number in the legislative arm of government, all we have agreed today is that we will use these numbers as a functioning whole to determine the leadership of the senate in a way that we are not going to go to the floor of the senate and allow the opposition dictate who becomes the senate president. Because, we have comfortable majority to drive that, what we have to do is to manage that majority. 

“We have discussed those specifics and because these are businesses that have to do with elections, as a caucus this is more or less a meeting of the incoming caucus to discuss leadership question and to build consensus  around individual so that people don’t have to go trading, generating heat in a way that can weaken internal solidarity in the party,” he said.

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Also speaking, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara state and chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) said the meeting reviewed what transpired in 2015 where the leadership of the two chambers of the National Assembly emerged against the wish of the party. 

“We reviewed what happened in the Senate and House of Representatives. Now, we want to go as one APC family notwithstanding our brothers from the other party. We are now talking about Nigeria first. The president requested that we all work for the betterment of Nigeria. 

“As regards the leadership, the president requested that we work hand in hand to ensure that we come out as one family, so that what belongs to majority goes to majority and what belongs to minority goes to minority.

“We assured him of full cooperation to ensure we revamp economy, tackle insecurity and fight corruption. We assured him that the ninth Assembly will work in harmony with the executive arm,” he said. 

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On his part, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state what the President was the right step to ensure there is no crisis in choosing the leadership and principal officers of the two chambers of the National Assembly. 

“What the president has done today, I think is the right step in the right direction. The last time we did not have the opportunity of this politics but today, Mr. President invited us. Because, we are governors and we also dialogue with our senators. 

“The president said in order to avoid rancour, let me lay the the way forward and we are very happy he has laid the way forward and because of that we are all going to work towards achieving the desire of Mr. President for the good of this country,” he said.
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