The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, on Friday, in Abuja, invited the Senate Minority Leader, Philip Aduda, to join the governing All Progressives Congress, lamenting that the five-term lawmaker lost his re-election bid to the “tsunami of the Labour Party,” at the February 25, 2023 national assembly election.
Aduda, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party and lawmaker representing the FCT in the upper legislative chamber and lost his re-election bid to the Labour Party candidate, Ireti Kingibe.
“As a result of the tsunami of the Labour Party of the past few weeks which made Aduda to lose his seat of the past 12 years, I do hope that he considers aligning with the APC ,” Bello said during Friday’s Sallah homage to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja.
The FCT minister said he tried to win Aduda over to the APC but to no avail.
He said having lost his seat through an overwhelming support for the Labour Party and failing to get the Abuja Mayoral bill signed into law, the Senate Minority leader should defect to the APC.
“I want to say that Senator Aduda has been a bridge builder even though he is from the other party, but he had been extremely supportive to the FCT administration under the guidance of the Senate president.
“The only regret I have as a minister is the fact that I have not been able to convince Senator Aduda to leave that party to join us in the APC.
“But as a result of the tsunami of the Labour Party of the past few weeks which made Aduda to lose his seat of the past 12 years, I do hope that he might consider aligning with the APC,” Bello said.
The Minister jokingly appealed to Buhari to appoint the Senator as the Nigerian Ambassador to Ukraine, with his few remaining weeks in office.
Turning to Buhari, he said, “Your Excellency, I wish to suggest that since he (Aduda) was not able to get the Mayoral position for the FCT to pass the National Assembly, and since he has not been able to get the position of the FCT minister as an indigene, I want to suggest that within the remaining few weeks, you might consider appointing him as the Nigerian Ambassador to Ukraine because he is a bridge builder.
“And I do hope that he will be able to build a bridge between Russia and Ukraine.”
He thanked the President for appointing him as minister, praising him for engineering a transformed FCT.
On his part, Aduda commended the President for engendering political tolerance. The lawmaker said although he won his mandate on the platform of the main opposition, the PDP, in 2015, Buhari did not insist that the senatorial seat went to a member of the governing APC in 2019.
He also said he would “think about” Bello’s invitation to join the APC.
“The Honourable minister of the FCT has given me options to either go to Ukraine or live in Abuja or follow the main stream (APC). I’m looking at it and I’m thinking about it,” he replied.