President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will on Monday meet lawmakers-elect of the National Assembly from opposition parties over the 10th Assembly leadership tussle.
The President is expected to receive Senators-elect and House of Representatives members-elect from the Peoples Democratic Party, Labour Party (LP) and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) among other opposition parties at the State House in Abuja between 3 pm and 5 pm.
The President’s notice of invitation to the lawmakers-elect, which was obtained by PUNCH on Saturday, was signed by the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijani Umar, on behalf of the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila.
While the opposition senators-elect will meet with Tinubu by 3 pm, the opposition House of Representatives members-elect will gather at the same venue to discuss with the President by 5 pm.
Though the notice of invitation did not state the agenda of the meeting, it was gathered that the leadership of the 10th National Assembly would be discussed.
PUNCH reports that the invitation was dated June 2, 2023, and addressed to the Clerk of the National Assembly.
“I write to inform you that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will hold a meeting with members of the opposition Senators-elect and opposition House of Representatives members-elect in the State House Conference Centre, Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday, 5th June 2023 at 1500 hours and 1700 hours respectively.
“In this regard, you are kindly requested to inform all concerned members to attend and forward their list early enough for security clearance. Please, accept the assurances of the President’s highest consideration.”
Recall that the decision of the APC to zone the 10th Assembly leadership had sparked serious controversy.
The National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress had on May 8, 2023, released the zoning formula for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly, picking Godswill Akpabio (Akwa-Ibom/South-South) President of the Senate; Jibrin Barau (Kano/North-West) for Deputy President of the Senate; Tajudeen Abbas (Kaduna/North-West) for Speaker; and Benjamin Kalu (Abia/South-East) for Deputy Speaker.
Several aspirants for leadership positions in the Senate and the House have, however, kicked against the APC leadership zoning plan, vowing to go ahead and contest against the party’s chosen candidates.
The APC candidates and the G-7, a group of aspirants aggrieved with the leadership zoning plan of the ruling party, are banking on the votes of the newly elected members who are far more than the returning members and members-elect in the opposition parties who collectively have more numbers than the ruling party.
However, according to the newspaper, the PDP, LP and the NNPP have cautioned lawmakers elected on their platforms against yielding to the whims and caprices of the executive over the 10th National Assembly leadership tussle.