NASS Leadership: APC Insists On Winner Takes-All
National Publicity Secretary of the APC Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu said the party does not envisage an election on the floor of the Senate. saying “it is winner takes all. Once you win, you take whatever you won. There is no room for power sharing. We do not need it because we do not need them (PDP) to run this government”.
Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu who stated this in Abuja, while reacting to PDP’s press statement, staid, “I have listened to the PDP react to this and in their usual style, they exhibited gross ignorance. What we practise in Nigeria is called the Presidential System of Government and in such a system, it is winner takes all. Once you win, you take whatever you won. There is no room for power sharing. We do not need it because we do not need them (PDP) to run this government.
We have enough number to run this government and in any case, when we were campaigning, we never told Nigerians that we were going to share power with any other party. We told them, ‘please, entrust power to us fully’. And Nigerians have graciously assented to that. It would be a betrayal of that trust to go ahead and start sharing power with a party, particularly the PDP that has been rejected by Nigerians.
“We are starting from the experience of the last four years, precisely what happened in 2015 when some traitors in the APC fold sold our birthright to an opposition party and some people now considered that to be the new normal. It is not. In fact, that was undemocratic. It was treachery and we thank God also that Nigerians have punished the people that are involved. They were rejected. Many of them are now on compulsory retirement from politics.
That is the verdict of the people of this country for those who dared to compromise basic democratic principles which says that in a presidential system of government when you have the majority, you have the trust of the people to form a government without conceding anything to the people they have rejected. If they wanted PDP, they would have voted for the PDP.
We patterned our Presidential system of government after the United States of America USA. When last did you see them go to the floor to elect the Speaker? Any party that has the majority automatically has the speaker. If you remember, Pelosi was the Speaker of the US House of Representatives. Immediately, the Republicans got a majority, she became the Minority Leader. It is automatic except where you have traitors; people who do not have a commitment to values whose only interest is to foster their own selfish desires. In the last election in the US, when Democrats became the majority, Pelosi reverted and became the Speaker”, he explained.
We don’t envisage an election “All the Principal Officers are determined by the simple majority and because Nigerians have given us more than what we had even in the outgoing dispensation, we have enough to elect all our officers. We do not need a single vote from the PDP and in any case, we don’t actually envisage any election on that day because we are going to present to our members to occupy these positions and it is the collective position of the party and all our members are very experienced politicians who understand what this means. When they get to the floor, they are going to read out the names and if the PDP so desire, they can bring a candidate and follow that candidate with the number they have got. So, it will be an exercise in futility for PDP to nurse the ambition to share from what Nigerians have taken from them. \
“It is not the party that will determine whether there will be an election or not. By the time we announce these names, having a clear majority on the floor, anyone that wants to oppose would have to present his candidates, backing them up with numbers. So, there is only one person being put forward and then you have a consensus. So, even if there is going to be an election it would just be a mere formality. We do not envisage a situation where two APC senators would stand as candidates for a position. That would only happen if this party has done its homework”, Issa-Onilu added
He said Sen. Ali Ndume who has been reported as expressing interest in contesting against Lawan was merely expressing his democratic rights, but that he must subscribe to the dictates of the party.
“The day he subscribed to be a member of the APC, he signed off to abide by the dictates of the party and we take what has happened in the last 24 hours as an expression of how badly the news hit him, but we are also conscious of the fact that Sen. Ali Ndume is a respected member of the APC, he is a leader in this party and we know he knows the right thing to do and on whose side he rightly belongs and that also includes any other person who has such grievances”, he added.