Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila has said opposition members will be considered in the composition of committees in the next few days.
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, had in March said the ruling party will not cede its leadership positions in the House of Representatives to the opposition.
The party chairman had said the party would ensure that all critical committees, except public accounts which was constitutionally ceded to the opposition, were chaired by APC members in the lower chamber of the National Assembly.
But Gbajabiamila, while fielding questions from State House Correspondents, after a closed door meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday, assured that the opposition will be carried along.
The Speaker, who arrived in Aso Rock villa along with some members of the lower chamber of the National Assembly, asked whether he will carry the opposition members along in terms of committee chairing, said the committees would be “unfolded in the next few weeks and you will see how we intend to carry them along. I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, but you can be assured they would be carried along.”
On the relevance of meeting with the Vice President, the House Speaker said: “It’s official and any meeting with the Vice President is relevant. It is about the economy and how to move the country forward, charting a road map about how to confront the problems that are facing Nigeria today. So these were the issues we discussed. It wasn’t a personal meeting, but you can call it a hybrid – between the personal and official, but mostly it’s official; how the executive and the legislature can collaborate to make life better for Nigeria and Nigerians.”
Asked what Nigerians are going to see differently from his leadership in the ninth assembly, the speaker said: “Stay tuned. You’ve heard my inaugural speech, we are going to do things differently, we are going to build on whatever the achievements are of the eight assembly, and it’s going to be a reformed house. Like I have said, the reform will be fished out in piece meal so as not to shock the system. But they will be reforms that will be for the benefit of the country. We expect the cooperation of all facets of government, including the executive and you – the journalists – and including our constituents.