Led by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, the Party’s National Working Committee (NWC) on Wednesday held its inaugural meeting with the leadership of the Senate APC Caucus at the Party’s National Secretariat in Abuja.
NWC members in attendance were the Deputy National Chairman (North), Sen. Lawal Shuaibu; Deputy National Chairman (South), Engr. Segun Oni; National Secretary, Hon. Mai Mala Buni; National Vice Chairman (South-West), Chief Pius Oluwole Akinyelure; National Vice Chairman (North-West), Inuwa Abdul-Kadir; National Vice Chairman (North-Central), Hon. Zakari Idde; National Vice Chairman (South-East), Hon. Emma Eneukwu; National Treasurer, Alhaji Bala Mohammed Gwagwarwa; Sen. Osita Izunaso, National Organising Secretary; Chief (Dr.) George Moghalu, National Auditor; National Women Leader, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu and Hon. Dasuki Ibrahim Jalo, National Youth Leader.
The Senate APC Caucus leadership was led to the meeting by the President of the Senate and Chairman of the National Assembly, Dr. Bukola Saraki. Other attendees were Sen. Ali-Ndume, Senate Majority Leader; Sen. Bala Ibn Na’Allah, Senate Deputy Majority Leader and Sen. Olusola Adeyeye, Senate Chief Whip.
Remarks by the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun at the meeting
“I want to welcome you most warmly to this first formal interaction between the NWC of the party and the leadership of the Senate. As they say, it is better late than never. What is important is that as at today, the party is at a critical juncture in its existence and we have the opportunity to take a strong look at the party, an opportunity to take a strong look at our control of the Senate and our leadership of the Senate, the opportunity to draw up a new basis of cooperation between the Party, its members in the Senate and of course the executive because we all belong to one Party.
“Unfortunately, it is clear, it is public knowledge now that our very first steps when we came in to office created problems and the very nature itself of the amalgamating parties, created its own issues all of which has tended up till now to affect the mode of operations and the level of interactions between the various arms of government and the Party. So we have a unique, God-given opportunity to take a look at ourselves, take a look at the National Assembly, take a look at the Party and take a look at the way we all interact between us and the government. It is my hope that we will at the end of it all be able to present to the Nigerian public, a government, a party and a National Assembly that are working all in the same direction.
“The economy is tough as a result, people are going through hard times and it is certainly not acceptable that the public looking up at us will not see that we are all concentrated, determined, focused on programmes, issues that will ameliorate not just the economy but the conditions of living for the ordinary Nigerian.
“I once again welcome you, thank you very much for answering our call. I hope we will deepen this interaction and that the public of this nation will start seeing a new relationship, a new party, a new National Assembly and indeed a focused and committed governance of the people.”
APC National Chairman after the meeting
“It has been a very rewarding meeting. As far as the Party is concerned, we commended the Senate and the entire National Assembly for the way they have worked so far with the Executive. We are determined and we concluded that we must work closely together to address some of the glitches that still exist, the relationship between the National Assembly and the executive.
“We want to assure the general public that they will see results that will lift their spirits in the next few weeks and months to follow. It means that an end is in sight. We have started the process, but there are issues to be resolved and there is no question at all that we are a family and when things have gone wrong, we accept that things have gone wrong and we are determined to right those wrongs.”
Remarks by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki at the meeting
“Mr. Chairman and members of the NWC, let me on behalf of myself and my colleagues thank you for inviting us to this inaugural meeting and as you said, we are here to listen and we are at your service at all times.”\
Senate President after the meeting
“First of all, formally we both bared our minds. We told ourselves hard truths but at the end of the day we accepted that certain things were not done but we accepted to move forward, work closely with the Party for the interest of building the Party. Because of Nigerians that believe in our Party, we need to work closely together and we are hopeful that a new chapter is being opened today and we are committed to the hopes and aspirations we gave Nigerians who came out to vote a year and half ago.”