NASS Leadership: Oyegun Brokers Truce, As APC Backs Lawan, Akume, Gbajabiamila For Top Posts
the national chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Oyegun may have brokered peace between warring camps of the senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki and senator Ahmed Lawan.
On a similar note, Oyegun also met with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubo Dogara and his deputy, Hon. Yusuf Lasun.
It will be recalled that the elections of Saraki and Dogara upon the inauguration of 8th National Assembly on June 9 as against the choices of senator Ahmed Lawan and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila who were both APC’s official candidates for senate president and the speaker, House of Representatives threw the APC lawmakers and the party into divisions.
But a renewed bid to reconcile both parties, Oyegun yesterday held a private meeting with the new leaders in his Asokoro, Abuja residence.
Though the meeting was not open to Journalists, a source present at the meeting which had in attendance all the APC senators said that a truce was brokered as all outstanding disputes relating to the principal positions at the National Assembly were settled.
For the first time after the crisis of confidence erupted among APC Senators Saraki and Lawan met at Oyegun’s residence to explore the possibility of reconciliation.
A top source, who spoke in confidence, said after Oyegun sued for reconciliation, Saraki and Lawan were asked to retire into a room for “frank talks.”
The source said: “We were all happy that Saraki and Lawan agreed to hold a tête-à-tête for the first time and we waited with bated breath for what they will agree upon.
“It is a private meeting and they were able to settle all the outstanding disputes relating to the sharing of principal positions at the national assembly “.
“It all now appears that the APC senators and the federal house of representatives members will go to Tuesday’s plenaries sessions united”, the source said.
But a source close Oyegun hinted that there was finality in the peace talk, stressing that talks were still ongoing.
“Two issues were at stake: whether the party should recommend nominees for principal offices in the Senate or zonal caucuses should nominate candidates.
“Neither of them spoke on the outcome of their talks. But we learnt they have gone back for consultations with their groups.”
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders are backing Ahmed Lawan, Femi Gbajabiamila, George Akume and five others as principal officers of the National Assembly, The Nation learnt last night.Both the Senate and House of Representatives are expected to name their principal officers today.
The party has adopted the lists submitted to it by The Unity Forum (Senate) and The Loyalists (House of Representatives) to heal the wounds and reconcile all after the June 9 controversial elections.
This has put pressure on Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
It was learnt that more than 12 members of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) supported the candidates recommended by The Unity Forum and The Loyalists.
Those recommended by the party as principal officers in the Senate are Lawan(Majority Leader); Prof. Sola Adeyeye( Chief Whip); Sen. George Akume( Deputy Majority Leader); and Sen. Abu Ibrahim(Deputy Chief Whip).
The list for the House of Representatives has Gbajabiamila( House Leader); Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa( Deputy House Leader); M. T. Monguno(Chief Whip) and Hon. Pally Iriase (Deputy Chief Whip).
A source said: “Most members of the NWC and leaders of the APC are fully in support of the lists from the Unity Forum and The Loyalists. We need to heal wounds and move forward.
“It will only be fair and just if the aggrieved legislators are allowed to choose among themselves the principal officers.”
The leaderships of the two groups generated lists which they sent to the APC National Chairman, who is expected to send them to the Senate President.
Asked if the lists are binding on Saraki and Dogara, the source said: “They have no discretion in the matter; they must abide by it if they are really loyal party members.
“It is the responsibility of the party to recommend these principal officers. In 2011, we were told that the President of the 7th Senate, Chief David Mark was not going to work with Akume as minority leader but the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria insisted on Akume.”