*Buhari, APC Reps to meet today
CHRIS EMETOH, Abuja
Lawmakers loyal to the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) and Femi Gbajabiamila have alleged that Speaker Yakubu Dogara is planning to prevent them from gaining access to the Assembly as the House of Representatives gets set to resume plenary tomorrow.
The spokesperson of the group, Nasiru Zangon-Daura, who addressed a press conference at Protea Hotel, Asokoro, Abuja, yesterday, also accused Dogara and his supporters of working with members elected on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to frustrate the anti-corruption drive of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Zangon-Daura said the speaker is specifically planning to stop members of the ‘Loyalist Group’ such as Aliyu Madaki, Rufai Chanchangi, Philip Shaibu, Mohamed Soba, Isa Zuru, Ahmed Kaita, Ismaila Sulaiman, James Falken, Yusuf Ikara, Abdullahi Salame and Abubakar Chika from entering the chambers
“We strongly warn Speaker Dogara that we will not take any breach of our members’ privileges lightly and we will hold you, Speaker Dogara personally responsible. Honour is earned through honourable actions. A word is enough for the wise,” he said.
Zangon-Daura also said the attempt by Speaker Dogara to bring back the PDP to reckoning after losing the 2015 general elections would not work.
“We have, therefore, resolved that enough is enough of the shenanigans of the PDP and Speaker Dogara group.
“We hereby remind Speaker Dogara group and his PDP allies in the House that we have fought the PDP and already chased them out of government because we were willing to pay the price to ensure that Nigerians are not short-changed.
“And we are ready to do it again now so that the change agenda prevails in the House of Representatives,” he said.
The lawmaker said the 2015 elections presented an opportunity to consign the PDP in to oblivion. He added that such quest of pushing the PDP to oblivion is being halted due to the activities of a few disloyal members “of the APC who had already formed an unholy alliance with the PDP in the House.
“We had hoped that with a difference of just 8 votes between Dogara and Femi, Speaker Dogara would have realised the need to cultivate a united House of Representatives.
“We are also cognisant that in politics there are always the subversive activities and antics of 5th columnists in any political movement to contend with.
“We are also aware that this unholy alliance is a bid to truncate President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda, which include his anti-corruption stance by using the National Assembly to, at the very minimum, slow it down if they cannot stop this presidential initiative dead cold.
“We know that this unholy agreement between the disloyal Dogara group and the PDP entail the deployment of PDP members and the disloyal APC group in strategic positions in the structures and committees of the House.
“The purpose of this strategic deployment is to enable the PDP to indirectly dictate the pace and activities of the National Assembly to the detriment of our party’s goals and objectives,” he said.
Members loyal to Dogara had last Friday stated that the crisis in the House is over because the “Dogara formula” which had conceded the position of House leader and chief whip to the Gbajabiamila group has been accepted by the nominated members, Alhassan Doguwa and Pally Iriase, respectively.
Zangon-Daura had issued a statement Friday night denying any truce.
He said the Gbajabiamila group still maintains its stand that party supremacy must reign in the appointment of principal officers.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari will meet members of the House of Representatives elected on the platform of the APC at the Presidential Villa, Abuja today.
The meeting was confirmed to State House correspondents yesterday by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
The meeting, he said, would hold at the new Banquet Hall by 5p.m.