… Dogara absent as Oshiomhole meets Reps caucus …APC won’t negotiate with mercenaries – Oshiomhole By Omeiza Ajayi ABUJA—ALL Progressives Congress, APC, has again reiterated its earlier decision not to negotiate with those it referred to as “mercenaries”, saying it would not be blackmailed into sharing Nigeria’s patrimony to a few individuals in the corridors of power.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja at a meeting with the APC Caucus in the House of Representatives, the House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila equally mocked some federal lawmakers who left the party earlier in the week, saying they were now regretting their actions. At the meeting where the speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara was absent, House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila accused the Peoples Democratic Party PDP of offering bribes to members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in the National Assembly to get them to defect to the opposition. Addressing the lawmakers, Oshiomhole said: “I believe there are two broad forces in the Nigeria political system. The progressives which we represent and the reactionaries which other political parties led by the PDP represent. ‘’Those who are happy with the Nigerian paradox of a country is rich and its people are getting poorer and more people becoming homeless is a huge contradiction and should remain in the PDP and the other parties that offer them a tattered umbrella. ‘’But if you are committed to addressing and putting to an end the situation in a country that prides itself as the richest and powerful in Africa, whose human index suggests that we are backward, we must form a party of change that explains this paradox. …advocates politics based on ideology “I said in my acceptance speech that we will have to create an Institute of legislative studies so that whoever is in this party must understand what we stand for. If we are bonded together by a set of ideology, it will be difficult for people who subscribe to these ideology to decamp on the basis of not gaining for his pocket rather than not delivery to the welfare of the Nigerian people. Until we get there, these musical chairs will continue. If you are a man or woman of honour, you cannot vomit in the morning all the impurities in your stomach and then because you are not getting a buffet, you convert that vomit to lunch and eat it with your eyes open. You have to be completely bereft of ideas and honour to be able to do that and look your people in the face. PDP offering bribes to our members —Gbajabiamila Mr Gbajabiamila, who urged the party to maintain close contact with federal lawmakers, also said there had been a lot of financial inducements of APC lawmakers by the opposition. “ I have heard and even ashamed to say it that members are being offered mouth-watering figures in terms of cash and I say mouth watering and members have rejected those cash. “Mr Chairman, not only are they being offered mouth watering cash, they are also being given automatic tickets and I say to members, the people who are complaining about internal democracy in APC , a complaint I do not agree with, how come they are offered automatic tickets and they accept, what are they complaining about in the other party? Our members have settled their deceit because that is what it is and I can guarantee that the automatic ticket is just a mirage. They will not be given and I can guarantee that. “Mr chairman, what we are seeing is the euphoria of the decamping and it has not died down. Even in 24 hours, some are even regretting, we are beginning to see people come back after seeing the handwriting on the wall that it came and just left like that. So Mr Chairman, we are blessed that some people left thinking that the pasture was greener on the other side, some are coming back seeing that the greener pasture was not that green”, he said. Gbajabiamila also urged the Adams Oshiomhole leadership of the APC to maintain close contact with APC members in the legislature in the light of recent developments. “I personally consider as an abysmal failure the attempt to turn APC into a minority in party in the House and Senate. The reason why that was not possible is because, and I cannot stress that enough, is because seated before you is a team of very convinced members who are committed to the ideals of our party, despite sharing in the grievances of those who have left, remain stead fast. It is because of them and not because of anyone of us in leadership, it is because of them, their commitment and steadfastness that in both chambers of the National Assembly and especially in the House of Representatives that we command a clear majority. I emphasize this so that the party, even if it did not, can begin to appreciate these members. “I called for this meeting and I know how busy you are, criss crossing and the NWC team as well, but at short notice you did not hesitate and what I told you was that we are on break now and some of our members will be going out on campaigns and to meet their constituents. It is the time to stay in touch with our members and keep them close because, this is what I told you Mr Chairman, this is their time. “We must consolidate and hold our positions very tight. Mr Chairman, I have a letter for you which gladdens my heart, the letter was written to me and I got it in my office just yesterday and I also dropped your copy. This letter came from Hon. Olamide Oni from Ekiti saying “Formal notification of my membership of the All Progressives Congress sequel to the division within the Social Democratic Party”. I will not read the whole thing but the import of it is that in April 28, 2018 which was about three, four months ago, Hon. Olamide Oni decamped from the PDP to the SDP, he left the PDP because he was not happy there. He went to the SDP, he thought the party was greener in SDP and after three, four months, this letter is dated 23rd of July, he realized that the only party that can serve his interests is the APC. “Even after yesterday, we continue to swell in ranks. So, also yesterday, we had primaries in Bauchi which was won by one of our colleagues in the office and we believe by all indications that it will be filled by the APC. Defections caused by lack of political ideology”Mr Chairman, I will rest at this point but let me quickly add one point, we have our party ideology but we must begin to develop this ideology that to the point where it is entrenched in the minds, hearts and brains of every progressive member of the party because lack of ideology is the reason why people cross from one party to another. This is going to happen again in four years time if we don’t develop this idea. Hardly in developed countries do you hear people crossing over from Democratic Party to Republican Party because the ideology they believe in is so entrenched you cannot go to bed with strange fellows. So, Mr Chairman, it is a golden opportunity that has presented itself and I know you and I have discussed and I know this is one of the things that are of priority to you”, he added.