- Femi Gbajabiamila demands that the APC must learn to constantly be in touch with members
- Gbajabiamila also wants the party to give special consideration to a set of members of the House of Representatives
- Adams Oshiomhole says the party must now ensure justice within its fold
Femi Gbajabiamila, leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus in the House of Representatives, says there is need for the party’s leadership to consolidate and stay in constant touch with its members.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Gbajabiamila stated this on Thursday, July 26, in Abuja when he led the party’s caucus at the House of Representatives to a meeting with its National Working Committee (NWC).
The lawmaker said such consolidation was critical following the recent defection of some of the party’s members to opposition parties.
“It is time to consolidate and make sure we stay in touch with our members and keep them close and continue to appreciate them,” he said.
Gbajabiamila was said to have specifically asked the party’s leadership to continue to fight for its members in the House of Representatives as some of them were first timers.
He added that to move the country forward, such members in the House should not be moved around, especially the first timers who had acquired experienced to become ranking members and had represented the party at the grassroot level.
He said: “They should be taken into serious consideration and I think they deserve a second term, because if they don’t come back, we are going to lose the first six months to one year training the freshers. How does that help the party or the country?”
According to him, the spate of defection of party members is due to lack of proper understanding of party ideology just as he called on the party leaders to develop and entrench its ideologies in members.
“We have our party ideology but we must begin to develop that ideology to the point that it is entrenched in the hearts and minds of every progressive member of the party.
“I believe it is the lack of the entrenchment of this ideology that allows people to cross from one party to another.
Responding, Adams Oshiomhole, the APC national chairman, said the party had started the process of change and must sustain it.
“We must deepen it and internalise it, so that at the end, we will have progress because progress is the outcome of change,” he said.
He added that those who were not able to fit into the core values of the party could be changed out of the system.
The APC national chairman thanked the lawmakers for keeping faith with the party’s leadership in moments of temptation such as this.
“We must work consciously to build a political party that is glued and bonded together on the basis of set of ideas.
“We need everyone of us who is on this progressive party to internalise these core values of progressive politics.
“It is contradictory for us to have in a progressive party with some people who are far right and even fascists, being in the same party with those on the far left or communists,” he said.
He noted that if the party members were bonded by same ideology, it would be difficult for those who subscribed to these ideologies to defect on the basis of not gaining personal benefits.
"I am excited that even in moments like this, we still have men and women of honour in the House of Representatives who recognise that there are values more important than dangling automatic ticket.
“We must remain focused, and I am grateful that we still have men and women of honour who have refused to be tempted,” he said.
He said that any legislator who had value and was at home with his people and not with the ‘godfathers’ in their communities was an asset to the party.
He further added that the party leadership would continue to talk to aggrieved members with a view to reconciling with them.
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“I have continued to say that we will not pursue a policy that will produce winners and losers. I believe that we have intervened and have a situation that will produce winners.
“We have tried to revisit our constitution and activate all the clauses that will help us to maintain unity and harmony within the house.
“I have said that for us to have peace and unity, we must fight for justice and fairness, because peace and unity is an outcome of justice and fairness.
“If you do not address justice, we cannot preach peace because peace cannot be decreed,” he said.
He added that under his leadership, decisions would not be imposed on members.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that Adams Oshiomhole described politicians who defected from the ruling party as men without honour.
The APC chairman made the statement while reacting to recent defections that has plagued the party at a meeting with party members in the House of Representatives on Thursday, July 26.
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