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Monday, 20 July 2015

N'Assembly Crisis: APC Govs, Lawmakers in Make-or-Mar Meeting Friday

 

 
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APC Govs

• Tambuwal, Oshiomhole c’ttees to submit reports
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

Ahead of the National Assembly’s resumption on July 28, governors on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) will meet with all senators and House of Representatives’ members in Abuja with a view to ending the protracted crisis rocking the APC caucus in the federal parliament.

One of the senators told THISDAY in confidence at the weekend that all APC senators and House members have been asked to make it a date with history, as the two committees headed by the Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, and his Sokoto State counterpart, Aminu Tambuwal, would also be expected to present their reports at the meeting.

At the last meeting of the governors with the combatant lawmakers on July 4 at the Imo governor’s lodge, Asokoro, Abuja, the Tambuwal committee was mandated to come up with a suitable solution to the crisis while the peace committee headed by Oshiomhole was tasked with drawing up a reconciliation plan for the warring lawmakers in both chambers of the National Assembly.

The senator told THISDAY that the objective of the meeting is to ensure that the protracted crisis rocking the APC caucus is nipped in the bud once and for all to enable all APC lawmakers in the National Assembly sheath their swords and simultaneously forge a sense of unity that would enable them to move forward as members of one fold without prejudice.

He said: “Our resumption had been postponed from July 21 to July 28. The APC governors will meet with us on July 25. They have asked all of us to come so that we can sort things out. The Tambuwal and Oshiomhole committees will report to the House.
“We need to sit down and solve our problems so that we can do the confirmation of the service chiefs and later the confirmation of ministerial nominees and move ahead.”

The source also said the introduction of Order 3(2iv) into the Senate Standing Rules which provides that chairmanship positions should be shared on the basis of geopolitical zones would be carefully looked into to avoid jeopardising the interest of APC which he said holds the majority in the Senate.

He added that even though the committees would be shared with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators on a geographical basis, the latter would likely be assigned to head less influential committees with only very few strong ones conceded to them while the APC would mainly preside over the productive committees.

“We will know how to share the committees. We will look at the committees and look at the ones that should go to them without jeopardising the chances of our party. We have to be very careful. We have to look at those things. We have to look at the strong committees that we can give to them. What is happening is democracy in action. It will make us stronger,” he said.

However, the thinking among pundits is that it will take divine intervention for the lawmakers to come out of the meeting on July 25 beaming with smiles, as each of the factions has held on to its positions without conceding an inch.

For instance, the Senate Unity Forum has refused to be pacified over its loss of the Senate presidency to the rival Senators of Like Minds, as well as the refusal of Senate President Bukola Saraki to accede to the nominations of his rivals, Senator Ahmad Lawan and Senator George Akume, by the party as Senate Leader and Deputy Senate Leader respectively.

The Unity Forum, which is also pursuing the allegation of forgery of 2015 Senate Standing Orders which it said helped Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, to emerge at the June 9 election of the Senate President and Deputy Senate President with the intention of declaring the elections illegal, has also vowed to resist the sudden introduction of Order (2iv) which offers PDP controlled zones the opportunity to occupy equal chairmanship positions with APC into the Senate Rules.

In the same vein, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has insisted that he will not accept the nomination of Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as House Leader because the South-west where Gbajabiamila hails from, has already produced the Deputy Speaker.

On the other hand, Gbajabiamila’s camp has insisted that it is either the speaker accedes to the party’s nominations or nothing.
Against this background, it is left to be seen how the July 25 meeting will end this seeming irreconcilable differences.

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