NASS Leadership Crisis: Buhari, APC Govs Tell Saraki, Others To Respect Party


President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress governors have asked the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to accept the party’s nominees for the remaining leadership positions in the Senate.

They stated this position at a meeting, Tuesday night, at the Presidential Villa.

The leadership of the APC had nominated Senators Ahmed Lawan from North East zone as Senate Leader, George Akume from the North Central zone as Deputy Senate Leader, Sola Adeyeye from the South West as Chief Whip and Abu Ibrahim as Deputy Whip.

In the House of Representatives, the party nominated Femi Gbajabiamila as House Leader, Alhassan Doguma as Deputy House Leader, Mohammed Monguno as Chief Whip and Parry Iriase as Deputy Whip.

There were, however, indications that Mr. Saraki objected the nominations.

His supporters under the aegis of “Like Minds Senators” are opposed to the nominations and have insisted on zoning the positions independent of the party.

However, those in the Unity Forum, a group which backed Mr. Lawan for the position of Senate President, insisted that those nominated by the party for the positions should be allowed to adopted by the Senate.

A closed-door meeting of the Senate on Tuesday to resolve the lingering disagreement had ended in a brawl.

Rising from the meeting at the Presidential Villa, which ended early hours of Wednesday, Mr. Buhari and the governors asked Mr. Saraki to respect the party’s position.

They resolved that the governors should meet immediately with the senate president and the APC senators to ask them to obey the party’s directive.

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, who is the Chairman of the APC Governors forum, told journalists he and his colleagues were bothered that the party’s lawmakers were showing disrespect for it even though they were elected on its platform.

“With all these achievements and progress we are making, we are worried by the pockets of disagreements going on at the National Assembly,” he said.

“We have resolved that we came from a party and our party’s views should be respected. So, we feel that there is the need for us to invite our senators and look more into the matter and see how we can all make peace.

“We believe that everyone should respect our party from which we all came from and for that reason, we have decided that we are going to invite our senators and rub minds with them.

“We are saying that there should not be a winner-takes-it-all; that we should carry everybody along and accommodate others as suggested by the party.”

Mr. Okorocha said the governors had also praised the president for his efforts to revamp the economy which is in shambles.

Also speaking, the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, said the meeting resolved that the APC senators should align with the party’s position.

He said, “We were all elected on the platform of the party. We are not just a collection of individuals, we are a political party and when the party has spoken we must listen. If it was a game of individuals, like golf, then individuals can go their way.

“I think it is very clear at this point that the party has the responsibility to keep the system going, so we as progressive governors, we have listened to the President and we have discussed extensively and we are clear that the party’s position should be supported by the senators.

“This is the way it should be and we should start on a note of working closely. We as governors, we listen to the party, we expect our senators to also listen to the party.

“We are going to call them and tell them this is it and explain our reasons. It is about party supremacy.”

It Is, however, not clear if the governors met with Mr. Saraki to inform him about the decision of the meeting.

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