Those who went against the ruling party’s position on the election of the National Assembly leadership would be punished, All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole has said.
The party’s choice candidates for the four elective positions – Ahmed Lawan and Ovie Omo-Agege as Senate President and Deputy Senate President and Femi Gbajabiamila and Idris Wase as House of Representatives Speaker and Deputy Speaker – won convincingly.
Lawan was challenged by Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume and Ike Ekweremadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) contested against Omo-Agege.
Umaru Bago squared up against Gbajabiamila and John Dyegh, who insisted on vying for the Deputy Speaker’s slot but surrendered at the eleventh hour.
Speaking after the leadership election had ended in the National Assembly, Oshiomhole said: “We have rules. We expect people to obey the rule and the rules of democracy are clear. When we have taken a position as a party, we expect party members to comply.
“We will look at the constitution and we will see what it says about people who resort to deviant behaviour.
“I am convinced that no system; particularly a voluntary system, can be held together if the rule of discipline is not enforced. A system must have the capacity to use the carrot and stick and balance the mix.
“If there is no stick, as they say ‘you spare the rod, you spoil the child.’ I am a believer in discipline. Even when I was in NLC, there was discipline. When we say we are going on strike, you don’t go and breach the picket line.
“The elite must understand that if we use the party platform to climb to a position, when there is a debate, not imposition; we have all discussed, the governors have agreed, leaders of the party have agreed across board; you can’t say you know more than everyone else. Unless you want to do independent candidate, then you go and amend the constitution.
“But don’t ask me if my child doesn’t behave well in school; just wait first whether there is any child who will not behave well.
“Today (yesterday) is a day to celebrate God’s blessings. If God has stood by us and gave us victory, what are my bitter about, but of course, bad behaviour will not be rewarded.”
He said he will not change overnight because of criticism.
The party chair said: “Particularly, when you go back to the recent sponsored attacks on my person. I am not going to borrow another person’s style. I am not a pretender.
“I don’t seat on the fence. I have strong conviction and I am driven by my conviction, not by the voices in the market; and what has happened today shows that those visions are well-pursued consciously with good heart, God bless the outcome.”