- An APC delegation of the House of Representatives has revealed the proceedings of their meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari
- The delegation, led by two lawmakers, Musa Sarkin-Adar and Abdulmumini Jibrin, reveals that the meeting was majorly on their misgivings on the conduct of some congresses carried out throughout the federation
- The lawmakers said the president gave his full consent to the solutions they offered to the problems discussed
Some members of the parliamentary support group in the House of Representatives have revealed the proceeding of their meetings with President Muhammadu Buhari when they met with behind closed-doors on Thursday, July 19.
The group, who are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was led by two colleagues, Musa Sarkin-Adar and Abdulmumini Jibrin. Speaking with State House journalists on the deliberation, Sarkin-Adar said the meeting“looked at the concerns within the country and the various political parties because election is approaching”, Premium Times reports.
The lawmaker stated that they had “certain concerns and misgivings” in each state of the federation, where congresses were held from wards, to local government and state level recently.
“There were so many discrepancies and issues that came up and people made a lot of complaints and they were not listened to. As a result of that, some people thought that they will move out of the party and join another party.
“Others, even before that have made up their minds they are going somewhere and we feel it is necessary to come and inform the president that we are committed to remain party members, but issues should be looked into and addressed properly, so that all aggrieved members can be persuaded to remain.”
Sarkin-Adar, representing Goronyo/Gada federal constituency Sokoto, also remarked that they also discussed ways in which the relationship between the executive and the National Assembly can be improved.
He said: “We know who caused all those frictions and we are trying as much as possible to make sure that such things do not happen again for the betterment of this country. We should not be partisan in everything we do, especially on our conduct on the floor of the House.”
He said their resolve to remain focussed members of the ruling party and give assistant in solving the problems that were triggered by the the congresses was based on their experience as members of the House of Representatives.
“So it is now a clarion call for us to rally behind the president and the need for us to also be listened to so that the issues of development of this country can be addressed,” he said. He added that the president was in agreement with their advice.
The lawmaker said they told the president that contrary to viral rumours, “it is not money given to us, but projects worth millions of Naira that we should only site where it should be sited in our various constituencies and it is one of the most unifying factors of this country.”
The constituency projects, often destroyed by fraudulent practices, have been decried by many Nigerians. Moreover, the president also condemned the insertion of thousands of such projects in the 2018 budget.
However, Sarkin-Adar stated that constituency projects is “one of the ways in which you can have a reflective performance of the government in certain areas.”
He said most rural areas in the country would not have had any government presence if not because of constituency projects.
He said projects are allocated to their constituencies and it is often “what your people will benefit from and as such, there is equitable distribution of infrastructure across the nation”.
Also speaking, the member representing Bebeji/Kiru constituency of Kano, Mr Jibrin, said they decided to visit Mr Buhari to show their solidarity. He said they had a very good meeting.
Jibrin said Mr Buhari took time to share his experiences with them and also explained his “vision and a lot of the things he is doing for the country.” He said members of the support group are happy with the outcome of the meeting.
He said the president suggested that such meetings should be held every quarter, adding “in any case that is what we always wanted. We can meet, exchange information, rub minds and find a way to continue to work together.”
On reports that the APC may lose its majority strength in the National Assembly owing to reports of mass defection to the opposition party, Jibrin simply said “every party in the world, not only in Nigeria has its challenges and the APC is not an exception”.
He however, expressed the belief that the leadership of the party is doing all that it can do to ensure it does not lose more members.
Another member of the group, Mohammed Gololo (Gamawa Federal Constituency), said: “With the interaction we are having with the national chairman of the party, with the synergy that is ongoing, most likely, the defection may not take place as it used to be amplified.”
Also, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, described the meeting as an “encouraging interface between the legislature and the executive.”
Mustapha said the National Assembly just had an “Open Week” programme and that the meeting is a continuation of that engagement.
“I believe that after this kind of interaction with different arms of government, we will be able to build synergy, build consensus on issues and find resolutions to it,” he said. “Politics is a game of negotiations, it’s a game of dialogue, and understanding and it is for the betterment of our country.
“We are the party in government; the legislature is part of government. If the executive does not succeed, it will also rub off on the legislature. So it is just a continuation of this dialogue that can afford us the chance to deliver the dividends of democracy to our people,” he added.
On his part, president's aide on National Assembly matters, Ita Enang, praised members of the parliamentary support group.
He said members took advantage of the meeting to express their concerns to Buhari. He also said the president “has responded in a manner that is very satisfactory to them.”
Enang said the meeting is one of the alternatives “that is being arranged and is granted by Mr President and officers of the executive from time to time to enable the legislators interact personally, with personal questions and personal concerns on the state, the party, projects and programmes of government.”
He said that most the issues discussed were “fully addressed” and that the president resolved to invite APC chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, to address the gathering. He said the national chairman of the party assured the members that the matters raised will be addressed and that no one should entertain fears since the APC is for everyone.
Enang said: “He told them how the nominations will go and has given them confidence and this confidence will be transmitted to all other members of the House and Senate who are not here.
“We are going to arrange for senators in the next few days as part of confidence building and bridging the gap between the executive and legislature.”
Earlier, NAIJ.com had reported that President Muhammadu Buhari met with members of the parliamentary support group comprising of his supporters in the House of Representatives.
NAIJ.com gathered that the meeting was held inside the conference hall of the office of the wife of the president, at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
Those who attended the meeting apart from the lawmakers include the secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, were Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; Attorney General and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami; and the national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole.
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