The ruling All Progressives Congress on Sunday said it was not against the decision of Senator Ahmed Lawan and other senators-elect to consult with members of the opposition on the election of leaders of the Ninth National Assembly.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said this in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja.
The party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, had while announcing the party’s choice of Lawan as the next Senate President, boasted that the APC did not need members of the Peoples Democratic Party to produce the next presiding officials of the National Assembly.
There were, however, recent reports that Lawan had been reaching out to members of the opposition, a claim that has been confirmed by the senator’s campaign organisation.
Issa-Onilu said the APC was not against negotiation by Lawan and other senators-elect working to fulfil the position taken by the party.
He said, “We have been inundated with reports of our members in the National Assembly holding consultations with members of the opposition over the election of leaders into the Ninth 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.”
Issa-Onilu also disclosed that the party leadership will soon release the remaining zoning arrangements for the two chambers of the National Assembly.
“Our party will soon release the zoning arrangements for the principal positions of the incoming Ninth National Assembly.
“The party will also make its position clear in the coming days on the principal positions in the House of Representatives,” he said.