By Henry Umoru
PRESIDENT of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki has explained to the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Odigie Oyegun that his letter on the position of the party with regard to the election of Principal officers of the Senate was belated, just as he admitted that his hands were tied.
In a reply to Oyegun’s letter, Senate President Saraki noted that the party’s letter came after the APC Zonal Caucuses had taken their decision to nominate candidates as Principal Officers in the Senate.
In the letter dated 25/6/15 with reference number NASS/ 8/SP/ APC/01/6/15 and obtained by Saturday Vanguard, the Senate President who noted that there was no way he would have gone contrary to the senate rules and guidelines as his hands were tied, though he remained a loyal party member.
It would be recalled that the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun had on Tuesday written the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki where the names of the party’s preferred candidates for the four positions were contained.
They are, Senate Majority Leader (North east-Senator Ahmad Lawan); Deputy Majority Leader (North central-Senator George Akume); Senate Chief Whip (South west-Senator Olusola Adeyeye) and Deputy Chief Whip (North west-Senator Abu Ibrahim).
Senator Saraki’s letter to Oyegun read in part:
“ With reference to your letter No. APC/NHDQ/01/015/05, dated 23rd 2015, in respect of the capture subject matter forwarding the names of the principal officers for the senate.
“The said letter was received after the various APC Zonal Caucuses had taken their decision to nominate candidates as Principal Officers of the Senate in line with parliamentary convention and the extant provision of the Senate standing Order 2015 as amended (Chapter VI; Rules 28, 29 & 31 refers). This was a follow up to the prior APC Senate caucus meeting held on 23rd June, 2015.
“Accordingly, the letters transmitting the decision of the APC Senate Caucuses do not conform to the recommendation as contained in your letter under reference. (Please see annexures 1, 2, 3 attached herewith).
“ Furthermore, whilst one is strongly persuaded to toe party line and act in accordance with the suggested party position, regrettably, clear provision of our extant rules and standard preliminarily convention have not given that leeway to act otherwise. Therefore, my hands are tied in the circumstances and I seek your understanding in this regard.