By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari Monday night met with the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senators-elect and the Governors elected on the party’s platform at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The meeting which was organised in form of a dinner, was hosted by the presidency for the Senators elected on the platform of the ruling APC, for the ninth assembly.
Although the agenda of the meeting was not made public as at press time, it was reliably gathered that it was to ensure that leadership of the ninth senate would have a harmonious relationship with the executive arm of government.
Recall that because of the inability of the ruling APC to zone leadership positions to the six geopolitical zones in 2015, the struggle for office created crisis that led to the emergence of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to produce the deputy senate President in the position of Ike Ekweremadu.
At the mock primaries conducted to select a consensus candidate at the International Conference Center, Abuja, Ahmad Lawan from Yobe State was chosen but at the election day, while some members of the national assembly were still meeting at ICC, the Clark of the National Assembly started inauguration of the seventh assembly in accordance with the proclamation order by President Buhari.
Consequently, Dr. Bukola Saraki who was interested in the senate presidency and in alliance with the opposition PDP was elected.
Since the emergence of Saraki, there has been frosty relationship between the legislature and the executive which culminated in some members of the ruling APC including the Senate President, Dr. Saraki to defecting to the opposition PDP.
Although the Presidency had recently said that President Buhari would not influence the leadership of the National Assembly to respect the doctrine of separation of power, it was gathered that the President would not want to have a leadership that would be hostile to the executive.
Already Senator Ahmad Lawan, former Senate leader, Ali Ndume from Borno and Danjuma Goje are among the top contenders for the senate presidency seat.
While Lawan appears to be having the backing of the leadership of the APC, Ndume and Goje also enjoy the blessings of senators including those in the opposition.
Apart from the current serving senators and the incoming ones in attendance, Ifeanyi Uba who was elected on the platform of the Young Peoples Party, YPP, was also in the meeting.
The APC Governors that were present included Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state, Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, Simon Lalong of Plateau state, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi state and Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara state.
Others were Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa, Ibrahim Gaidam, Kashim Shettina of Borno State, and Gboyega Oyetala of Osun State.
Also present was the National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor-Kalu and Abdulahi Adamu from Nassarawa state who both have been rumoured to be eyeing senate presidency were also present.