The leadership crisis rocking the National Assembly has deepened as the two chambers have continued to find it difficult to fill the remaining principal positions after the emergence of their presiding officers on June 9.
Governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress which met with President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday asked the party’s Senators and House of Representatives members to toe the party position on the remaining offices.
President Muhammadu Buhari himself was said to have also endorsed the party’s position on the matter.
Briefing journalists at the Presidential Villa after the meeting with Buhari, the Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum and Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, said the National Assembly members must follow the party line on the matter.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole also corroborated Okorocha, saying the party got the Senators elected and that those positions must be filled by the party and not caucuses.
APC National Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun had written separate letters to the Senate President Bukola Saraki and House Speaker Yakubu Dogara giving them a list of Senators and House members the party had chosen for the remaining positions.
The remaining positions are those of Senate Majority Leader, Deputy Majority Leader, Chief Whip and Deputy Chief Whip as well as House Leader, Deputy House Leader, Chief Whip and Deputy Whip.
The letter was not read on the floor of the Senate notwithstanding spirited moves by Senator Gbenga Asafa from Lagos State to get Senate President Saraki to do so.
According to sources, Oyegun’s letter to Saraki reads: “Please find below for your necessary action names of principal officers approved by the party after extensive consultation for the 8th Senate as follows: Senator Ahmed Lawan (Majority Leader)-North-east; Prof. Sola Adeyeye (Chief Whip)-South-west; Senator George Akume (Deputy Majority Leader)-North-central, and Senator Abu Ibrahim (Deputy Chief Whip)-North-west”.
A similar letter to the Speaker says: “Please find below for your necessary action names of principal officers approved by the party after extensive consulations for the 8th House of Representatives as follows: Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (House Leader)-South-west;Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa (Deputy House Leader)-North-west; Hon. M.T. Monguno (Chief Whip)-North-east, and Hon. Pally Iriase (Deputy Chief Whip)-South-south”.
But WESTERN POST learnt that Senators of Like Minds who powered the election of Saraki as Senate President have kicked against the move to get the party to fill the positions, saying they must be filled by the various caucuses in the Senate.
The opposing Senators christened Unity Forum which worked filled behind Senators Lawan and Akume in the Senate election are insisting on the party positions.
The Senators are divided down the line on the matter as both camps stick to their guns.
And in the House of Representatives, where it had virtually been agreed that Hon. Gbajabiamila who contested and lost the speakership to Hon Dogara, should become the House Leader, the picture is changing as more caucuses are opposing the move.
Speaker Dogara had virtually accepted Gbajabiamila as House Leader referring to him as ‘Leader’ after a debate on an issue during Tuesday’s sitting of the House.
More caucuses are rising up to oppose the emergence of Gbajabiamila as House Leader. The South-south caucus argued that South-west has already produced the Deputy Speaker and should not produce the House Leader again.
Some caucuses from the North are also moving against Gbajabiamila.