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NASS speakership: APC, PDP Reps move to reach agreement

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Members of the House of Representatives from both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are said to be making plans to reach a common ground on the leadership of the 9th National Assembly.

The move to strike a deal between both parties, it was gathered, kick-started with a call by the PDP on Thursday, in the House.

The leadership positions excluded the offices of Speaker, deputy speaker and House Leader.

Some of the key committee chairmanships were to be given to the PDP by the APC in accordance to the initial agreement to foster unity and peace.

“This is to ensure that the PDP, the second largest party in the House, is carried along by the incoming leadership,” a source said.

Hon. Jibrin said that arrangements on the deal would be concluded in two days.

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He said, “On the issue of apportionment of responsibilities in the 9th Assembly, we requested the PDP to raise a committee to meet with the APC caucus in the next 48 hours to cede some positions to the PDP in the spirit of unity.

“The reality is that after winning the election, it is again one House. So, we have confirmed to the PDP that we will run an inclusive House, and we have commenced negotiation to see the kind of positions to cede to the PDP members.”

Added to Hon. Jibrin’s position, Chukwuka Onyema, the deputy minority leader and spokesman of the PDP caucus, speaking to journalist after the meeting, said: “Everybody came to tell us why they want to be speaker; what they are going to do to improve the House and the relationship among the members.

“That’s the whole essence of the meeting. All the candidates who appeared before us said they know they can’t run the House without the minority parties, especially the PDP, against a statement credited to someone to that effect‎.

“We don’t have any preferred candidate yet; we are going to sit as a caucus, deliberate on it, analyse it and then come up with our position. I wish we could strike a deal, but no deal yet.”