The All Progressives Congress on Tuesday dismissed reports that its senators flouted the party’s directive to members in the National Assembly to withdraw cooperation with the Executive until the restoration of law and order in Rivers State.
The party said the reports were borne out of the gross misunderstanding of filibustering as a democratic tool to stop legislation by obstructive tactics.
This clarification was contained in a statement signed by the party’s Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday.
According to the party, the slant of the reports that the APC senators’ presence and participation at the screening of the military chiefs on Monday represented a rejection of the directive was way off the mark.
The party said it was fully aware that its members in the Senate would attend the screening just as it was sure that they would be part of any debate on the issue.
The statement noted that the party had no problems with senators participating in Senate sessions because they were elected to not only attend sittings but also fully participate in its activities.
Mohammed said, ‘’We never directed our members in the National Assembly to boycott the chambers’ sessions, whether it is screening of appointees or plenary. What we said is that they should block executive bills. In any case, a senator or an honourable member can only filibuster when he is in attendance. Filibuster does not equate to boycott or non-attendance.”
APC reiterated the propriety of its directive, which it described as pro-people, democratic and aimed at saving Nigeria from sliding into anarchy.
It said the directive had already succeeded in dousing the tension in Rivers State, where those who had been subjected to ceaseless harassment by hoodlums aided and abetted by the police could now stage their rallies in peace.
The party also said the directive was not only to benefit APC members but Nigerians as well as national institutions, including the National Assembly itself, which the APC noted the Presidency had tried to rubbish by ignoring its resolutions calling for the redeployment of Rivers Police commisioner