Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Thursday declined the possibility of the party handing out automatic tickets to lawmakers who recently defected from the party.
Speaking at a meeting with the APC caucus in the House of Representatives at the party’s national secretariat, Oshiomhole said the issue of automatic tickets is not valid as the party did not force any lawmaker to leave.
He stated that the APC will only do what is best for the party by providing a level playing field for all the current legislators to contest with party members who are also aspiring to take up their constituency's seat in the National Assembly.
Oshiomhole said, “Somebody asked me are we countering the Peoples Democratic Party by offering automatic tickets, I asked, did we offer anybody departure ticket? If we did not, then how does the issue of return ticket arise?
“For me, I am tired. We just need to ensure every legislator who has value, who is at home with his people, that legislator is of value to the party and the party will do all to retain such.
“Our party must consciously work to produce seasoned senators. We will get there. If it took them 100years to get there, we don’t have to take 50 years to get there.
“I want to assure you that it can’t be argued that experience cannot be discarded.
The APC National Chairman also stated that the direct primary, which was used in Osun and Bauchi states to pick candidates, would henceforth be adopted by the party.
Speaking to reporters soon after the meeting, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the visit was to reassure the party of their continued loyalty and support.
However, Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Yusuf Lasun, his deputy, were conspicuously absent from the meeting.
The APC is entangled in a series of internal crisis after 15 Senators and 36 representatives left the party on Tuesday.
However, two Senators claimed that their names were erroneously included in the list of the decamped senators and subsequently returned to the APC.