R- APC lawmakers meet faction’s leaders on Tuesday

The House of Representatives members were waiting for the outcome of the ongoing negotiations between the leadership of the R – APC and the APC National Working Committee before taking a final decision on whether to defect on Thursday or not .

It was gathered that one of the issues on offer was the automatic tickets for the lawmakers in the 2019 elections.

One of the members said , “ Nothing has been concretised , but I will say there have been talks , including the offer of automatic tickets . ”

Another member confided that the R – APC lawmakers were expecting to be briefed on Tuesday by their leaders to decide on the way forward .

“ Our plan to defect has not changed . But our leaders are in talks with them ( APC) and we are patiently waiting . ”

The factional group and Chairman ,House Committee on Justice , Mr. Razak Atunwa said that members were ready to accept any offer that would ensure “ justice for all at the end of the day. ”

Atunwa , like others, confirmed that the group had not shelved the defection plan, but admitted that members were also ready to accept offers that would treat all parties as equals.

The lawmaker from Kwara and an ally of Senate President Bukola Saraki, added, “In politics , you never say never . I am aware that a lot of negotiations have been going on.

“ Right now , there is no justice . If it ( offer) doesn ’ t lead to justice , we will go ahead and do what is okay for us in the week . ”

In the meantime , it was learnt that the aggrieved lawmakers were ready to accept the automatic ticket offer from the APC to remain in the party .

A source gathered that the lawmakers led by President of the Senate , Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives , Yakubu Dogara , had given a condition to the leadership of the APC.

The condition, according to the aggrieved lawmakers, who spoke to one of our correspondents , is that the offer must be put in writing.

One of the lawmakers, who spoke on condition of anonymity , disclosed that Saraki and Dogara had insisted on a written agreement to retain their leadership of the National Assembly as there were forces in the APC, who worked against their emergence as Senate President and Speaker, respectively .

The source said , “They want to give us automatic tickets . The return ticket is for everybody and there are those who are giving it a thought. They are making an offer to all of us but it all depends on what we finally agree with them .

“ If the offer being made will be written , we are going to take it . It has to be written . If it is not going to be written , nobody is going to take that risk (of believing the party ). It must come through a letter . If they could write that they are giving us automatic tickets , I believe that many will not defect, but if they refuse , certainly , they would be on their own . ”

The lawmaker further disclosed that his colleagues , particularly senators , were considering either the Peoples Democratic Party or the African Democratic Congress, a coalition led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo .

He stated , “ If it is not PDP , it is ADC . Right now , about three senators have moved to the ADC – two from Oyo State and Senator Abdul – Azeez Murtala -Nyako from Adamawa State. If they give us a written agreement , personally , I will not defect , but it must be in writing . ”

The lawmaker stated that the condition became necessary as most of the APC governors were not happy with the National Chairman , Adams Oshiomhole , for making the offer .

The lawmaker noted that some outgoing APC governors had planned to contest the seats currently occupied by some senators from their respective states .

He also said some of the governors were bent on imposing their successors on the APC and blocking senators who wanted to get the governorship tickets ahead of the 2019 elections.

When contacted on Saturday the National Publicity Secretary of the APC , Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi , said he was not aware of the automatic ticket offer .

He said , “I do know there are ongoing meetings but I am not aware if anyone is offering anything and what offers are being made. I honestly don’ t know .

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