Wednesday, 27 July 2016


State governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have waded into the Presidency/ National Assembly faceoff over leadership of the legislature.

The feud has lingered for more than a year now since the All Progressives Congress (APC) won control of the National Assembly and the presidency in the April 28, 2015 general elections
But the National Assembly has enjoyed little peace since the election of Bukola Saraki as Senate President and Yakubu Dogara as House Speaker.

Both Saraki and Dogara broke ranks with the party to contest the elections in both chambers and they won majorly with the backing of members of the opposition PDP.

After a two-hour meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja, the chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, said the forum was concerned about the crisis in the parliament.
“We are concerned about the incessant happenings in the National Assembly, and we have taken it upon ourselves to look into the matter,” Okorocha said.

Credible sources close to yesterday’s meeting between President Buhari and APC governors on how to resolve the National Assembly impasse said it’s going to be a long process because the aim was “to have an enduring truce.”

One of the sources, who is close to a leading APC governor from the North, said, “From what I gathered, the governors are trying to get a middle ground so that the protracted crisis that is creeping into the second year can be resolved.

“Both the president and the Senate leadership would shift ground; there would be compromise and sacrifice. Specifically, the president had noted that party supremacy must be respected, meaning, the Senate president must go back to square one and abide by the recommendation of the party before the inauguration of the 8th  Assembly.

“Please try and get me right, I’m not saying that the president said Senate President Bukola Saraki must resign or not; this position is left for the outcome of the on-going negotiations and the governors are being circumspect in divulging some information to the media, so as not to jeopardize the process.

“But remember, the APC  ab initio gave a list of names of those they wanted as presiding officers of the two chambers,” he said.

Another source said during a recent meeting between the APC governors and the president, which was not made known to the media, it was agreed that Saraki would reshuffle the Senate standing committees in order to accommodate some of the preferred candidates of the APC and by extension, the president.

“That was what prompted the recent change in the Senate but more is on the way,” he said.

Another source said on the other hand, President Buhari is expected to intervene and “soften” the prosecution of Saraki both at the Court of Conduct Tribunal and the normal court, where he is being tried alongside his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu and others, over doctoring of the Senate rules.
Meeting not surprising- APC

Both the national chairman of the APC, John Odigie-Oyegun and the national secretary, Mai Mala Buni have travelled to the United States.

However, the vice chairman of the APC for the North-West, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, said yesterday’s meeting was not surprising.

He said both the president and the governors rose to their various positions on the platform of the APC, and therefore, they could not fold their arms when there is a problem.

Asked whether it was the party that asked the governors to meet President Buhari, Abdulkadir said, “In democracy, various components have their responsibilities and those in executive positions, such as the governors and the president are fully aware of this.

“We must keep our house in order and as you’re aware, we are also doing our bidding at the party level.”

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