National Assembly to reconvene next week — Deputy Speaker

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Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yusuf Lasun, has confirmed that the National Assembly will reconvene Tuesday next week to consider matters of public interest.

Lasun made this announcement on Thursday shortly after a meeting of the All Progressives Congress, APC, caucus in the National Assembly which lasted  for about three hours. Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, was not present at the meeting.

The Caucus called for urgent and thorough investigation into the invasion of the National Assembly by armed men from the Department of State Services, DSS, on Tuesday.

“First, let me make one thing very clear that we are on a lawful break. We didn’t just adjourn in order to run away from our duties, but went on recess at the time we normally have our annual recess.

“But based on the president’s request and the meeting we held with INEC Chairman on Wednesday, we are convinced on the need to reconvene and address them,” he said.

Issues expected to be considered are supplementary budget, as well as approval of funds for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to enable it prepare for the elections.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, had on Wednesday led management of the commission to meet behind closed door with the leadership of the National Assembly over the funding of 2019 general elections.

Yakubu said the National Assembly leadership at the meeting that lasted for over two hours gave an assurance that the N242 billion election budget proposal sent to the legislature by President Muhammadu Buhari in July will be approved next week.

“We have been assured of the speedy passage of the election budget proposals latest by next week,” he told reporters at the end of the meeting.

Meanwhile, Lasun frowned at the formation of various groups within the APC caucus.

Apparently referring to the Abdulmumin Jibrin-led Parliamentary Support Group, a pro-Buhari group in the House, he insisted that “nobody, no matter the group he/she belongs to can say that they like and support President Buhari more that the APC Caucus”, stressing that “the Caucus remains one united body”.

The deputy speaker pointed out that Buhari will run for re-election as a consensus candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“Before he emerged in 2015, I was already campaigning for Buhari in 2014, and the party’s national leadership and all its organs had agreed in principle that the President will be our consensus candidate in 2019.

“Mark my words, I said this on principle. And when the time for primaries reaches for candidates to be elected, we are all going to adopt President Buhari as a consensus candidate of the APC, so let nobody come to deceive anyone that they love the President or Nigeria more than some of us,” he said.

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