As plans unsettle APC Senate caucus
By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—AHEAD of the inauguration of the 9th Senate, there are allegations that Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, is already putting in place, machinery to ensure that he influenced who emerge as the next Senate President and the deputy.
The alleged plot is said to have caused serious anxiety in the Senate Caucus of All Progressives Congress, APC.
According to a source, as part of plans by Saraki to actualise his moves, the Senate president, who leads an influential group in the Senate, comprising principally Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, senators and some members of APC caucus, who used his influence to win the support of the PDP caucus, is said to be working on the 2015 template with which he emerged as Senate President with the candidate of the opposition PDP caucus, Ike Ekweremadu, as Deputy Senate President.
It was gathered that the group met last week at the Maitama residence of Saraki where 35 PDP senators-elect were alleged to have resolved to influence the emergence of a new Senate leadership, just as the modus operandi of the group is to ensure that it works with and supports any APC senator that is amenable to its proposal to accommodate the PDP caucus in the Senate leadership.
The group, according to the source, is interested in retaining the position of Deputy Senate President, just as it was said to have come up with Plans A, B and C, preparatory to the horse-trading that is expected to characterise the race for the position of Senate president.
According to the source, the group’s Plan A is to sponsor one of them for the position of Senate president in the event that two or more members of APC caucus present themselves for the position on the floor of the Senate.
If it becomes difficult for the group to activate Plan A, it was agreed that it should support an APC senator from Gombe State, who the members said, was more amenable and they believe that with him, they could get the position of Deputy Senate president.
It was also gathered that Saraki was working on a fall-back position, having lost his re-election bid for the Kwara Central senatorial seat, just as he had planned to take a shot at the Senate plum position but, unfortunately, he was defeated at the poll by APC’s candidate, Dr Oloriegbe Ibrahim.
It was also gathered that Plan C of the group in case Plans A and B fail, is to support another APC senator from Yobe State, who they believed would not act to adversely affect the group’s interests.
It was learned that the Saraki group resolved that for no reason should they allow the duo from Nasarawa and Borno State to step in the saddle as Senate president. Both of them are dubbed as chronic loyalists of Buhari.
Plans unsettle APC Senate caucus
Largely unsettled by the plot by the Saraki group, members of the APC caucuses in the National Assembly and in the party’s hierarchy in Abuja are now inclined to deliberately cede all presiding and principal officers’ positions in the Senate and House of Representatives to zones where they could accommodate and endorse predetermined party and president’s loyalists for election/selection.
According to a source, the party’s National Working Committee, NWC, had already been activated to mobilise concerned state governors and leading party stalwarts to ensure that the leaderships of both chambers comprise identified loyalists.