The caucus, made up of lawmakers from both the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party from the zone, jointly made the declaration after a two-hour meeting at the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The leader of the caucus and Chief Whip of the House, Representative Alhassan Dogowa, said Nigerians could not afford to miss the President in 2019.
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Ameachi, says the Nigerian Government will shift the transport sector from full government ownership and management to public-private partnership.
The Minister made the disclosure on Monday during a public hearing on the Nigerian Railway Authority Bill and the National Transport Commission Bill at the House of Representatives.
Leading officials from the Transportation Ministry, he said that Nigeria needed $166 billion over the next five years to meet its infrastructural needs in the energy and transport sectors.
The Chairman, House Committee on Land Transport, Honourable Aminu Isa, stressed that the hearing on the two bills would help to enact and establish the Acts.
Representing the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, the Chief Whip of the House, Honourable Ado Dogowa, praised the efforts of the Federal Government in the transport sector.
The public hearing is expected to guide the committee and serve as a means of gathering the views of Nigerians on the bills before it is passed into law.
The two bills are meant to help Nigeria’s transport sector and put in place, legal framework to enhance public-private partnership in the sector.
The House of Representatives on Thursday began hearing on the failed contract for the installation of CCTV cameras in Abuja and Lagos.
At the hearing, the former Managing Director of the Nigeria Communication Satellite Ltd, Engineer Ahmed Rufai, placed the blame on the Federal Government for the failure of the $470 million National Public Security Communication Project.
Some of the agencies present at the hearing denied having any knowledge of the project or being involved in it.
The Chairman of the House committee investigating the CCTV contract, Ahmed Yerima, and the Chief Whip of the House, Garba Alhassan, spoke on the focus of the investigation.
According to report, the House had investigated the issue before in the 7th Assembly without coming out with a verdict.
The committee, however, gave the assurance that they would complete their own investigation as speedily as possible to ensure the project helps address the country’s security challenges.
Some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the House of Representatives loyal to the Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, walked out of the party’s caucus meeting on Tuesday.
The action brought another twist to the crisis over the composition of committee chairmen in the House, as the lawmakers alleged that there was a plot to remove Mr Gbajabiamila from his position.
According to a lawmaker, Mustapha Dawaki, the meeting was to discuss a news conference held by some members of the House the day before.
At the press conference the organisers said that the distribution of the committee was not acceptable and that they were speaking on behalf of the APC caucus.
But Mr Dawaki dismissed their claims.
“The statement attributed to the APC caucus is not in the interest of the APC caucus. Two people out of over 200 cannot come and speak on behalf of the APC caucus,” Mr Dawaki said.
“We Get Along”
One of the lawmakers that left the meeting on Tuesday, Honourable Ahmed Kaita, also said that the Speaker, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, had gone against the wishes of the party.
“Yesterday [Monday] while we were having a meeting at the National headquarters of the party, texts messages were flying by the same group of people that do not want the APC to succeed in this House… that Gbajabiamila is going to be removed today and they actually planned it.
“We came and they could not do anything. We have the majority and as long as this House is going to be dictated by the Peoples Democratic Party, we will resist it,” Honourable Kaita said.
Addressing reporters on the issue, the Majority Leader, however, said there was no issues between him and the Speaker.
“The Speaker and I have no issues. We get along. If those that claim they are with the Speaker and those who claim they are with me have issues among themselves, it is for the speaker and I to resolve these issues for them and not for us because we have no issues,” Mr Gbajabiamila said.
“Nigerians Are Tired”
The Chief Whip of the House, Ado Dogowa, also denied any plot to remove the Majority Leader, saying the leadership of the House is united.
“The leadership has no crack as far as we are concerned.
“As I am talking to you, Honourable Dogara and the leader of the House is in the same room in the office of the Speaker discussing and trying to see how we can move ahead. Nigerians are tired of this waiting,” Mr Dogowa explained.
“Any speculation made that there is a plot to remove the Majority Leader is unfounded and it is not from the APC,” he said.