By Bashir Bello
KATSINA – Following the rift that had continued to greet the composition of ninth National Assembly leadership, a Board of Trustees, BoT member of the All Progressive Congress, APC and a Second Republic Senator, Sen. Abba Ali has said the party has a final say on the persons to occupy the Senate President and Speakership seats and it position is the ultimate.
Senator Ali, a BoT member in a chat with Vanguard, urged the party members to shine away from personal interest and look at the national interest and party’s interest in the whole process.
The elder statesman call is coming on the heels of some of the party members who are eyeing the seats vowing not to step down their bids.
The former Senator representing Katsina, said the ongoing division is normal and expected but it is a family affair that would be resolved amicably.
According to him, “Well, in any political setting, this is normal. You will find that people are divided simply because they need positions. But under normal circumstances, the party is supreme. The party is the one who stood for any member to be elected. Be it, Senate or House of Representatives or State House of Assembly. So the party has a final say.
“This is an internal affair of the party. So it is only natural that you find that the choice of the party is not the choice of others. And in a democratic setting everybody has a say. But the final say is the party because they didn’t stand the election on their own, in their name but under the umbrella of the party.
“So I am not surprised, that is normal. And am sure it will be sorted out,” he said.
Sen. Ali allays fears that the rift if not resolved will lead to a repeat of the 2015 scenario, saying what is obtainable at the moment is different from that of 2015.
“It is totally different. Now, we have the majority in both houses. Before, the majority is one or two and again, when we came in 2015, it was an amalgamation of parties which formed the APC and they still have those feelings of belonging to one of the three parties. But now that everything has stabilized, we are no more talking about other parties, it is one party. So the party controlling should nominate whoever they want to lead them in the houses. Even the zoning arrangement is the party’s affairs.
“And it has started this process on time. If you remember, in 2015, the party and executive left it until they are in the National Assembly and after their swearing in. So we have plenty of time now to resolve the factions. And this is the right time to do.
“And am sure it will be sorted out. I have no doubt that they are going to resolve this. To me, this is a normal thing in politics. For an outsider, you may think that there would be crisis in this and that. They are all members of the same house, the same family, I am telling you that it will be resolved amicably.
“My suggestion is if we want to move forward, we should shine away from personal interest and look at the national interest and party’s interest. Because as an individual, we cannot run a party or take a decision on behalf of the party. Loyalty is number one, in any citizen, political setting he finds himself. One should be loyal to the party, government and that will make us move forward and move the country in the right direction,” the BoT member, Sen. Ali stated.
It would be recalled that the party has settled for Sen. Ahmed Lawan and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila for Senate President and Speakership respectively but some members also interested in the seat opposed to it vowing not to step down their bids.