It was gathered that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it will not support the Controller-General of Nigeria Custom Services (NCS), Hameed Ali and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal to disrespect the National Assembly.
APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, who made the disclosure in a chat with newsmen, at the weekend, said the national leadership of the party took its time before wading into the matters between the Senate and Customs CGC and SGF because the National Assembly is not made up of APC members alone.
“Yes, the issue came up. The House of Representatives raised such concerns in specific terms as you have just expressed it.
“The party will not support any member or any appointed official of government to disrespect the National Assembly because we recognise that the national assembly is the very meaning of our democracy.
The difference between dictatorship and democracy is that you have a National Assembly. In the military rule, you have executive and the judiciary; the only institution you don’t have under the military rule is the National Assembly as it were, or the House of Assembly in the state,” Abdullahi said.
He said any form of denigration of the national assembly “is like flirting with suicide.”
“So, as a political party, we are not going to do that, we are not going to support anybody to disrespect our National Assembly, and I believe some of these issues that are coming up will soon be resolved.
“I don’t think trying to intervene to resolve the issues should be interpreted to mean that we are protecting some of the individuals involved. We are not protecting anyone to disrespect the National Assembly. Our desire is to see stability in the system,” he said.
Although the Abdullai said the party is making efforts to broker peace and understanding between the executive and legislature, he regretted that one of the matters is already in court.
“We were going to bring the parties at the table and discuss, but one of them, probably, has a different idea. By dragging the issue to the wing of the court makes things more complicated; but, we will continue to try. You know as a party, of course, there are decisions. For instance, we can say, ‘if you are a member of this party, there are certain things you can’t do’ but that is not our ultimate desire.
“Our desire is to resolve the matter to stabilise the system rather than heating it up. We know as a party that we have a responsibility, yet, due to the situation we found ourselves, we are not able to intervene as forcefully as we should.
“A lot will depend on what we are able to do as a political party because the Customs CG is our party member and the National Assembly is dominated by our party members.
“So, that puts a lot of responsibility on us to find a way to resolve this issue. We don’t have a right to behave in a way that would, unnecessarily, overheat the system; that is the point I am making. We are going to get to the bottom of it,” Abdullahi said.