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N/Assembly crisis: How eight APC governors tried to muscle Saraki, Dogara

By Levinus Nwabughiogu

Eight governors of the All Progressives Congress, APC were behind the showdown in the House of Representatives on Thursday, Vanguard can authoritatively reveal.

Worried by the crisis generated by the elections of Dr. Bukola Saraki and Rep. Yakubu Dogara as Senate president and the Speaker, House of Representatives respectively, the governors decided to wade into the elections of the principal officers.

The move was further to placate some powers-that-be in the party who felt slighted by the emergence of Saraki and Dogara against party’s directive.

On Tuesday, they stormed the national secretariat of the APC apparently to make their decision known to Oyegun.

Yusuf Dogara, House of Reps speaker and Bukola Saraki, Senate President
Yusuf Dogara, House of Reps speaker and Bukola Saraki, Senate President

This came after they had, in a meeting, assured president Mohmmadu Buhari that they would quell the storm in the federal legislature.

Vanguard gathered that the governors were behind the letters written to the senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Rep. Yakubu Dogara in which APC as a party was said to have submitted the list of some choice candidates for the principal positions in both chambers of the National Assembly.

The letters which had the signatures of the national chairman of APC, Chief John Oyegun preferred Senator Ahmed Lawan from north east as the Majority Leader, Senator Sola Adeyeye from south west as the Chief Whip, Senator George Akume from North central as the Deputy Majority and Senator Abu Ibrahim as the Deputy Deputy Chief Whip.

Similarly, in the House of Representatives, a letter said to have been written by the party to Speaker Dogara also demanded the announcement of Femi Gbajabiamila from Lagos State in the South-West Zone as House Leader; Alhassan Ado Doguwa from Kano State as Deputy Leader; Mohammed Monguno from the North-east as Chief Whip and Pally Iriase from Edo State in the South-South as Deputy Chief Whip.

In the senate, North-East Caucus, defied  the party’s directive and nominated Senate Ali Ndume as the Majority Leader as against Lawan  just as Bala Ibn Na’alla was also nominated as deputy leader as against the candidacy of George Akume nominated by the party.

Senator Francis from Edo State, South South, was named the Deputy Chief Whip while Adeyeye who got lucky to be nominated as the Chief Whip from the south west rejected his nomination, leaving the office vacant.

But the in House of Representatives, the officers were not named, a development that prompted the quagmire.

An investigation into the matter on Friday revealed that APC’s national chairman, Oyegun was pressured by the 8 governors who brought the list of the candidates to write both Saraki and Dogara giving them the names for the positions.

A source close to Oyegun confided in Vanguard that the development angered Oyegun who later pleaded with the governors to allow them go into negotiations with the leaders of the National Assembly in the interest of peace instead of imposing candidates on them.

According to the source, Oyegun reasoned that it may not be out of place for the governors to share the offices amongst the State or zones but to attach names was unethical.

He further stated that every plea from the helpless chairman to the governors failed to deaf ears hence the letters.

The sources added that were it not for self restraints, Oyegun would have resigned immediately afterwards.

“At that time, the chairman became helpless. He was left with no other options than to do what the governors said. In fact, Oyegun would have resigned his chairmanship there and then because he considered that they did as unethical.

“He reminded the governors that APC stood for change, that what the party needed to do was to go into negotiation with Saraki and Dogara to prevent the case of winner-takes-all. But they insisted it must be those people. Now, you can see the outcome of their insistence”, the source said.

 


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