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Ninth Assembly: Ndume, Bago, Kalu, Gaya, others shun APC ‘seal-deal’ meeting

Few hours to the composition of leadership in the National Assembly, some members of ruling All Progressives Congress jostling for principal positions on Monday shunned a meeting conveyed by their party.

The meeting was at stance to ‘seal’ the President Buhari and party’s choice – Sen. Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila for President of the senate and Speaker House of Representatives respectively.

Ndume, former majority leader from Borno State, who had also declared for the Senate President, was absent from the APC meeting.

Other contestants who were also conspicuously absent from the APC meeting were Senators Francis Alimikhena from Edo, Kabiru Gaya from Kano State and a former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu.

Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, said, “We have all agreed as a caucus to endorse senator Lawan for Senate President and Senator Omo-Agege as the Deputy Senate President.

“We have also agreed to endorse Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila as the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Wase as deputy speaker. These four are the APC nominees for the respective positions. The governors and members-elect were unanimous in adopting this position.”

He commended other aspirants for accepting to step down despite being qualified to contest the positions in order to preserve the unity of the APC and the interest of the country at large.

Specifically, Oshiomhole hailed Senator Danjuma Goje from Gombe State for stepping down for Lawan and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and for assuring him to support them.

Former Edo State governor also thanked Senator Ajayi Boroffice (Ondo State), Hon. Olusegun Odebunmi (Oyo State) and Hon. Nkiruika Onyejeocha (Abia State) among others for accepting to step down for the party’s candidates.

The APC chief noted that those that stepped down were eminently qualified to contest the positions.

“They offered to step down as a mark of honour for the President and leadership of the party. They are all unanimous to back these candidates as the APC candidates for the good of the country,” he said.

Oshiomhole commended Lawan and Gbajabiamila for travelling the length and breadth of the country to woo members of the opposition in order to build bipartisan cooperation, which he noted, had been helpful to their course.

“I believe together we will work to take Nigeria to the next level,” he said.

Oshiomhole urged Ndume to respect the party’s position, which he said, was the position of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He added, “For now we are still trying to talk to Senator Ali Ndume but I believe he is a democrat; he understands that it is important to listen to the voice of the majority and accept the decision of the majority. It is all about sacrifice.

“For those who have agreed to step down, they did so because they realise at a point in time, only one person will lead.

“I believe that my friend, Ndume, will not be a lone ranger; he will respect the party and the President who is the leader of the party. I do not have any fear that he will respect the decision of the party.”

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