The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, have yet again defied their party, the All Progressives Congress, rejecting the APC’s nominees for top leadership positions in the upper and lower chambers of the National Assembly.
Saraki and Dogara defeated candidates nominated by the APC for the positions of Senate president and House Speaker respectively.
Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila were the APC’s official candidates for the positions of Senate President and House Speaker.
On Tuesday, the party wrote the two leaders directing them to adopt candidates who lost at the elections as principal officers.
In its letter, the party picked Mr. Lawan as Senate Leader; Sola Adeyeye as Chief Whip; George Akume as Deputy Senate Leader; and Abu Ibrahim as Deputy Whip.
For the House Representatives,Mr. Gbajabiamila is the party’s choice to emerge House Leader, while Mohammed Monguno would serve as Chief Whip; Alhassan Doguro Deputy Speaker; and Pally Iriase as Deputy Whip.
However, sources say Messrs Saraki and Dogara were yet to accept the party’s nominations, which led to clash among the senators who engage on war of words over the matter during a meeting on Tuesday.
Suleiman Hunkuyi, who represents Kaduna North senatorial district, said the disagreement was caused by an attempt by the leadership of the Senate to impose its decisions on the majority of the APC senators.
“The issue of leadership of the chamber that belongs to the group of the APC, cannot be decided here. It is common reasoning and common sense. We have a leadership for the party. The leadership of the party, that is, the APC still reigns supreme to decide the four positions of leadership, where it should go and who shall have it. An attempt here to do otherwise is the cause of this rancour.
“Simply put, the cause of the rancour is an attempt by the leadership that has emerged, in otherwise fishy circumstances to again force their will on the majority of the Senators of the APC.”
Senator Ibrahim Danbaba on his part expressed outrage over the development referring to what had been agreed on during the Monday meeting:
“He (Hunkuyi) didn’t get to know what has been said and the arrangements that were made and agreement that was reached. We all agreed that we will go and meet in caucuses, that is to say the Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate has been zoned to North-East, Deputy Majority Leader zoned to North-West and the Chief Whip zoned to South-West and then the Deputy Chief Whip is zoned to South-South.
“That was where we were when these people came in and suddenly when they came in, they said no, it is the party secretariat that is going to decide who takes the position. And of course, they were making it very obvious that the party leadership is on the side of what we believe now is extinct, that is, the Unity Forum.”