- Party resolves issues with House caucus
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has asked the National Chairman of Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and other members of the National Working Committee (NWC) that the party cannot afford to be complacent if it hopes to remain in power.
Dogara, who regretted that regular meetings with the party’s leadership and its members at National Assembly ought to have taken place before now, however, said though many mistakes were made at the on set of the administration, the meeting was able to trash most of issues affecting the relationship with members in the House of Representatives.
“As long as it is human institution where human beings are involved, no human being is perfect. In a situation where you don’t have perfection, certainly there will be mistakes. There are plenty mistakes and we will not run away from them. If we think that we should have a party that will not have challenges or problems or crisis, you are just deceiving yourself.
“You can’t put the party on autopilot as it were and expect that it will run on its own. We looked at all those areas and some of the family issues which you cannot bring to public glare. But as sons of the party, we have been able to look at those areas and I can assure you that we have trashed them,” he said.
Oyegun had led NWC to a similar meeting last week with the Senate caucus of the party led by the Senate President. Dr. Bukola Saraki.
Speaking yesterday at the APC national secretariat before he led other principals members of the House to a closed-door meeting with the party national officers, Dogara warned that if the APC leaders relax, nothing will be achieved.
“We are all united as a family in the APC. We also looked at the challenges facing the party and we were able to faction out ways by which we can address those challenges. It is only by meetings like this that we will be able to put things in their perspective,” he said.
He stated further: “For us, we felt that it should have come much earlier, but we are aware of the situation we found ourselves. But as they say, it is better late than never. For us, we believe that even though we are kick starting today, with the coming of great minds, we are bound to improve the lot of this party. It takes meetings like this to chat a formidable way forward.
“For us in the APC, we cannot assume that progress is automatic, but it is inevitable. If we fold our hands, nothing will happen. It is only by meetings like this that we will be able to put things in their perspective.
“We should be see what we have done wrong, what we can do and we should do to maintain the competitive political environment we have found ourselves.”
Speaking earlier to welcome his guests, Oyegun said the purpose of the meeting “is to put all these things behind us and now seat down to introspect, look at the party, look at the National Assembly, look at the government.
“We are going to two years in government. It is high time that we sat down, ask ourselves questions, ponder whether we are moving in the right direction, discuss serious issues and where necessary, make correction that are considered expedient.”
The purpose is clear, we are kick-starting a series of targeted discussion which we should have had much earlier. We know why the discussions could not take place in the recent past. We have had a rash of by-elections, very serious by-elections which fortunately are coming to an end as soon as we can resolve the balance of the undeclared results in Rivers State.
The purpose is clear and straight forward and that is to put all these things behind us and now down to introspect, look at the party, look at the National Assembly, look at the government. We are going to two years in government. It is high time that we sat down, asked ourselves questions, ponder whether we are moving in the right direction, discuss serious issues and where necessary, make correction that are considered expedient.
Dogara came to the meeting with the Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun, House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila and Alhassan Ado Dogowa.