Some opposition political parties have warned their members ahead of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s meeting with them.
Recall that Tinubu invited opposition lawmakers to a meeting at the Presidential Villa on Monday.
Naija News reports that the meeting may be centered around the quest to firm up a harmonious relationship between the Executive and Legislature and to fine-tune the process of electing the leadership of the National Assembly.
The invitation was signed by Tijanni Umar, the Permanent Secretary of the State House, on behalf of the President’s Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila.
He urged the lawmakers to attend and submit their list for security clearance.
Following the invitation, major political parties such as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP), and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) have cautioned lawmakers elected on their platforms against yielding to the whims and caprices of the executive over the 10th National Assembly leadership tussle.
They stated that though there was nothing wrong in attending the meeting called by Tinubu, its members must ward off undue interference by the executive.
The NNPP spokesman, Agbo Major, said the opposition lawmakers-elect should operate without the interference of the executive, maintaining that the lawmakers must always ensure that the three arms of government should embrace the principle of separation of power.
While stating that the NNPP would not stand in the way of its members-elect if the President called them to a meeting, Major warned that the party might not be so nice to Tinubu if the purpose of the meeting was linked with the tussle for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly.
He said: “In any case, if the meeting is connected to the choice of National Assembly leadership, then the party will take a different position as we believe in the independence of the legislative arm of government, which ideally should operate without interference from the executive arm in conformity with the principles of separation of power.
“As party loyalists, our elected members will return to brief the party, after which appropriate decisions would be taken in the interest of the suffering masses.”
Also reacting to the invitation, spokesman for the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, said the party would prioritize national interest over partisanship.
He added that a request for such a meeting with its member-elect had yet to reach the party.
He said, “The PDP does not take dictates from another party. As far as the leadership of the 10th Assembly is concerned, the party will take a position that is in the interest of Nigeria, not the interest of another political party.
“Our members-elect in the National Assembly know this very well, and from the retreat we had today (Saturday), they know where the PDP stands on the matter. We are too big as a party to take sides with another party against the Nigerian people. No, we are too big for that.”
On his part, the LP National Chairman, Julius Abure, said the executive cannot impose any candidate on the leadership of the National Assembly.
He said: “It is for the legislators to decide who will be their leader. So, whoever is calling them, there is nothing wrong with attending.
“Their capacity to return and do what is right is what is key. They are adults and people representing their constituents who know their career is also at stake.
“Whoever is willing to destroy his career; that’s his business. Those who ride on the back of the people need to be very careful because four years is not forever.
“The step they take from the day they are sworn in will determine whether they will go back or not. Therefore, it is in their collective interest to do the right thing and enthrone somebody that will work for the country, not necessarily an anointed candidate.
“It is not the meeting that matters but what they do on June 13 when they will be electing the leadership of the House.”