By Umar Muhammad Puma
With the emergence of Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila as Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively, the Ninth National Assembly is certain to be different from the previous one.
According to the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), this is obvious from the manner the caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the two chambers worked in the interest of the party to elect their choice candidates as presiding officers of the federal legislature.
BMO said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, that anything contrary to APC position on the leadership of the National Assembly would have meant a repeat of the animosity that trailed Executive-Legislature relations between 2015 and 2019.
“We all saw how the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) used moles in the APC to dilute the mandate freely given to the governing party in 2015 and consequently hampered the Buhari administration in more ways than one.
“This culminated in the President tagging former Senate President Bukola Saraki and his co-traveller Yakubu Dogara as unpatriotic individuals, in his assessment of the 8th National Assembly.
“Nigerians would have most likely witnessed a similar scenario if the PDP –backed candidates for the leadership of the Legislature had managed to clinch the Senate Presidency and the Speaker’s seat ahead of Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila.
“But unlike the 2015 situation, party supremacy won and APC caucus members lined up behind those who are duty bound to help President Buhari deliver on the promises and visions encapsulated in the governing party’s manifesto,” it said.
The group added that the emergence of candidates endorsed by the President and the party as presiding officers of the 9th National Assembly is further proof of PDP’s rejection by Nigerians.
BMO said: “The opposition party and its supporters had banked on a repeat of the subterfuge that led to a renegade APC member emerging as Senate President with its support, but lost out to the President’s decision to show a keener interest in ensuring that only his party’s choice candidates lead the federal legislature.
“Just like it did in 2015, PDP also had the audacity to push for an opposition member as Deputy Senate President in continuation of the political heresy the former Senate President foisted on the last Senate, but it was refreshing to see that even some of their members in the Senate voted against the party’s position.
“Thus, this is the first time, since 1999, that the PDP would not be in the power loop at the centre and this, in our view, bodes well for the country.”
BMO also congratulated the newly elected National Assembly leadership on their emergence, and the APC for ensuring a clean sweep of all the positions set aside for the party with the majority of seats in the federal legislature.
“We congratulate the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and his colleagues in the National Working Committee (NWC) as well as state governors elected on the party’s platform for living up to the responsibility of ensuring the election of candidates with the zeal to push through the Buhari agenda of good governance.
“That those considered as true representatives of the people opted for Lawan and Gbajabiamila ahead of the PDP-backed candidates in the two chambers shows a strong belief by federal lawmakers in the ability of the President and a readiness to ensure a better atmosphere than what was witnessed in the 8th National Assembly.
“We see it as a victory for President Buhari and make bold to say that Nigerians should expect a seamless delivery of APC’s ‘Next Level’ campaign promises, especially in terms of swift passage of bills that would impact positively on the lives of the average Nigerian,” the statement added.