APC Crisis: Peace continues to elude Saraki/Lawan

By Post Nigeria June 23, 2015 21:00

APC Crisis: Peace continues to elude Saraki/Lawan

The crisis festering among senators of the All Progressive Congress, APC, worsened on Tuesday, following disagreements over who will fill the remaining leadership positions in the 8th Senate.

The disagreement led to verbal outbursts among the APC lawmakers.

The disagreement was sparked off when senators under the `Like Minds’ and `Unity Forum’, failed to reach an agreement on the procedure for emergence of candidates for the various principal positions.

The Like Mind senators, who support the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had insisted that the candidates for the various positions be zoned and candidates produced at the caucus level.

The group, had come up with a zoning formula that gave the position of Majority Leader to the North-east; Deputy Majority Leader, North-west; Chief Whip, South-west; and Deputy Whip, South-south.

Meanwhile, the Unity Forum senators who are in support of Sen. Ahmad Lawan (APC- Yobe-north) insisted that all vacant positions be filled by the national leadership of the party.

According to one of the lawmakers who attended the meeting, Suleiman Hunkuyi (APC, Kaduna North), the disagreement was caused by attempts by the Saraki-led group to impose its candidates on the party.

“The leadership of the party, which is the APC still reigns supreme to decide the true position of leadership and we shall have it. An attempt to otherwise is to cause confusion.

“We are just coming from the meeting of the leadership of the party and we are aware that the leadership of the party is doing all it can do to curb what should not have happened in this chamber now.

“Therefore, simply put, the cause of the rancour is an attempt by the leadership that has emerged in otherwise fishy circumstances, to again force their way on the majority of the senators of the APC.

“This is notwithstanding the fact that the APC leadership has not come up with the final position,’’ he said.

On his part, Sen. Ibrahim Danbaba (APC- Sokoto-south), who was also present at the meeting, said the commotion was caused by Sen. Ahmed Lawan and other senators who got to the meeting late.

According to him, the senators present at the meeting had concluded on modalities for appointing the principal officers, when Lawan and the other senators, who came in late, disagreed with the position arrived at.

“Close to 40 of us were around until close to the tail end of the meeting and he did not come until after 3 pm.

“He missed most of the things that were said, agreed and discussed because he was not there.

“He didn’t get to know what was being said and the arrangement that was made because we all agreed that we will meet in caucuses.

“That is to say the Majority Leader of the Senate has been zoned to North-East, Deputy Majority Leader zoned to North-West.

“Also, the Chief Whip was zoned to South-West and Deputy Chief Whip zoned to South-South. That is where we were when these people came in,’’ he said.

Sen. Abu Ibrahim (APC-Katsina South) said the senators had no power to zone the leadership positions to any region.

He stressed that the procedure for allocation of the offices had been the exclusive right of the ruling party and that should be maintained.

“As far as I am concerned this was never done, I was a principal officer in the last senate, the party gave our names and that’s how I became a principal officer,’’ he said.

He therefore called on the APC to “wield it’s big stick, if anybody decides to go against the directives of the party. The party must take disciplinary action.

Meanwhile the President of the Senate had shortly before the close door meeting, enjoined the senators to bury their hatchet and renew the spirit of love, cooperation and trust.

He said the he was convinced that after the meeting the APC senators would be better united to work towards the development of the nation.

“Distinguished colleagues, I do believe that no matter what are the issues outstanding amongst us as a family, they are surmountable and resolvable in the atmosphere of love and understanding.

“In this room today, we can and shall put the past behind us and we shall all come out of this room, individually and collectively victorious. There is nothing like a winner or loser.

“Our party, the APC is the winner and we are all conquerors,’’ he said