A scheduled meeting between leaders of the All Progressives Congress, President Mohammadu Buhari and members of the National Assembly, elected on the party’s platform, ended abruptly on Tuesday.
This followed the emergence of Senator Bukola Saraki as President of the 8th Senate.
The party leaders and some elected Senators and members of the House of Representatives were at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, waiting for Buhari, when news filtered in that the Senate had been inaugurated and that Saraki had emerged unopposed.
As if this was not enough, Senator Ike Ekweremadu of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party defeated Senator Ali Ndume of the APC to clinch the slot of Deputy Senate President.
The emergency but belated meeting of the APC was slated for 9am while the inauguration was scheduled to hold at 10am. However, as of 10. 56am, the APC legislators at the ICC were still waiting for the President.
The notice of meeting, which was circulated, partly read, “The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, will address all Senators and House of Representatives members-elect of the All Progressives Congress at 9am this morning Tuesday, the 9th of June, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja. All concerned must endeavour to attend this meeting.”
Party leaders had convened the emergency meeting as part of a last ditch effort to unite the party ahead of the election of principal officers of the National Assembly.
All efforts by the party to resolve the conflict between Senator Bukola Saraki and his supporters on the one hand, and Senator Ahmed Lawan and his supporters on the hand, failed.
In a shadow election, held last Saturday, the APC announced Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila as its sole candidates for the Senate Presidency and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively.
It also announced Senator George Akume and Mohammed Mungono as sole candidates for the positions of Deputy President of the Senate and Deputy Speaker respectively.
The party leaders of the party had hoped that a pep talk from the President himself could save the day.
This was not to be as news of happenings within the National Assembly Complex jolted party leaders as they all rushed into their waiting vehicles and headed for the National Assembly.
On his way out of the ICC, National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said he had no comment or reaction on the happening at the Senate.
“I have no comment, I have no reaction,” he added.
APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun said, “We just watched it (on television) but we will address you when the whole situation has been re-examined.