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House of Reps: Tinubu, Governors Meet APC Lawmakers, Insist On Bill Blockage

Interim National Chairman, All Progressive Congress, Chief Bisi Akande
Interim National Chairman, All Progressive Congress, Chief Bisi Akande

The House of Representatives will on Tuesday (today) begin its debate on the 2014 budget.

But a sign that the debate would be stormy emerged last night when the national leadership of the opposition All Progressives Congress and seven governors met with the APC caucus in the House.

The meeting, according to a source, was to make the APC lawmakers in the House realise that the party was serious about its directive to them to block all Executive proposals, especially the budget.

The APC has 172 members in the House while the ruling Peoples Democratic Party has 171.

A prominent APC lawmaker told our correspondent after the meeting that they were prepared to confront whatever antics the PDP caucus might adopt during the debate.

“We are going to follow the directive of our party once the debate on the budget begins tomorrow(today). We have individually studied the bill and we are set to tear it apart and ensure that it was not passed.

“We know the PDP leadership in the House would employ some funny methods to arm twist us but we will not yield to them.”

The Interim National Chairman of the APC , Chief Bisi Akande, had during the meeting with the lawmakers predicted that in the next “three to four months,” there might be no political party called the PDP in Nigeria.

He alleged that in spite of the “money” the PDP was using to stop the wave of defection of its members to the APC, the opposition party was growing stronger by the day with more “heavyweight PDP members” joining the APC.

Akande noted that though the APC was dealing with “a very desperate PDP government,” it would not stop supporting the lawmakers until they had cleansed the “barbaric environment” Nigeria was facing at the moment.

He said, “We are dealing with a very desperate government; but we are here to support you.

“We are in a most barbaric environment in this country. The government does not know the difference between stability and politics.

“We are playing it hard out there with them; but when they come here, teach them civilisation at the National Assembly.”

On his part, the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, thanked the lawmakers for their courage and doggedness, assuring them that the APC would not let them down.

He asked them to forgo their personal interest for the greater interest of the nation.

Tinubu said, “We are here to say you have done excellently well; congratulations.

“Don’t look at your personal interests but look at the larger picture, which is to bring the party of the common man to be the party of the crusade to rescue Nigeria.

“The party will not let you down in the face of all that is happening.”

A former National Chairman of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, Ogbonanya Onu and former Borno State Governor Ali-Modu Sherrif, also addressed the members.

Governor of Imo State, Mr. Rochas Okorocha; Governor of Oyo State, Mr. Abiola Ajumobi; Governor of Nasarawa State, Mr. Tanko Al-Makura; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; and Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, addressed the meeting. They urged the lawmakers not to give up the fight that they had started.

Others who attended the meeting were Governor Abdulfatai Ahmed (Kwara) and the Deputy Governor of Kano State, Mr. Abdullahi Umar- Ganduje.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Minority Leader of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabimila, had claimed that the APC’s numerical strength in the House ranged between “172 and 174.”

Source: Punch

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