By Emmanuel Uffot
Arising from a meeting President Muhammadu Buhari and the Leadership of the All Progressive Congress, APC had with newly elected senators and House of Representative members on the platform of the ruling party, the National Chairman of APC Adams Oshiomhole did what he knows best, ditching instruction to the legislators that the party has endorsed Senator Ahmad Lawan and Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila for the position of the Senate President and Speaker House of Representatives respectively.
The APC Chairman known for his authoritarian disposition said the decision was final and reportedly told the bemused legislators that he would not entertain any comment from them on the issue.
President Buhari and the national leader of the ruling party Bola Tinubu are said to have queued behind the decision of the National Working Committee, NWC on the issue.
Before the decision of the party to impose the two lawmakers as the anointed candidates of the APC for the two exalted national assembly leadership positions, names like Senators Danjuma Goje ( Gombe), Ali Ndume ( Borno) and Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa) were bandied as interested candidates for the position.
Although some insider sources and vocal party men have said President Muhammadu Buhari and All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders will wait until after Saturday’s governorship election to take final decision on how to zone power sharing in the 9th National Assembly, interested caucuses and party leaders have been meeting to ensure the emergence of their choice candidates even as political zones jostle for the plum seats.
The meetings started a few days after the announcement of results of the Presidential and National Assembly Elections. A top APC leader told The Nation that leaders of the party are not taking the matter lightly, both because of the hindsight of what happened in 2015 and suggestions soon after the NASS elections that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is planning another contest over the leadership of the National Assembly. “That being the case, we are wide awake and prepared to ensure that the National Assembly is led by the right lawmakers. I need not tell you the importance of this if we hope to do better this time around.”
The party Chairman we gathered also admonished the APC senators elect and their counterparts in the House of Representatives to utilised their visible majority and ensure that the main opposition the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP do not head any Committee in both Chambers except the Public Finance Committee that gives preference to the opposition.
In the just concluded National Assembly election APC won 65 of the 109 senatorial seats, representing about 59.6 per cent while the main opposition party, PDP, won 42 senatorial seats (40.3 per cent) and the Young Progressives Party (YPP) got one seat or one per cent of the seats.
APC’s majority is replicated even more in the House of Representatives, where it won over 230 of the 360 seats, leaving PDP with over 100 slots.
However the latest development which many see as a play back to 2015 when attempt by the APC leadership to impose sameSenator Lawan and Gbajiabiamila backfired and Senator Bukola Saraki emerged the Senate President while the opposition PDP in the minority produced the Deputy Senate President in Ike Ekweremandu.
Already Senator Ndume former senate leader who is eyeing the position is not happy and is protesting that it is only the legislators that can decide theri principal officers not the party. Although Goje who is also interested and rumored to have the support of the senate president Saraki was yet to react as at the time of writing this report, Ndume and some senators unhappy with the seeming dictatorial style of the APC National Chairman are said to have reminded the party to remember the fall out of the 2015 blunder which if not careful will repeat itself.
The PDP answered the APC that every senator a right to contest for any position that the party will field candidates to the positions.
But political analysts have argued that the joker again will be who the PDP would support which definitely will not be anyone imposed by the APC party and not the legislators themselves.
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