The NASS Leadership Election And The Way Forward For APC By Aliyu Audu
The election and inauguration of Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Hon. Yakubu Dogara as the senate president and speaker of the 8th assembly of the federal republic of Nigeria has been greeted with mixed reactions from different sectors of the country.
Just like president Muhammadu Buhari and many other party faithful I would have wished that the party was united in the formation of the 8th national assembly leadership. However, there is no one to blame but the party leadership for their failure to decisively provide leadership – specifically instructions and guidelines – on the subject matter immediately after the general election.
The present composition of the NASS leadership represents suitable rewards for the four geopolitical zones that worked arduously for the success of the party. Much better than the proposed formation by some party leaders which would have left the north central without any position and South west with two slots in the top four positions in the country.
Senator Saraki capitalized on his overall acceptance amongst his peers within and outside the party to ensure his emergence being aware of certain interest within the party that were working against his success despite being the most qualified among those being taunted for
The insinuations of Senator Saraki working for the opposition as peddled in some quarters is baseless and in bad faith.
Senator Saraki willingly dumped the PDP for the APC in the interest of the nation and his contribution to the success of the party in the last general election can only be from a leader who believes in the party. The exceptional benefaction of Senator Saraki resulted to the sterling performance of the party in the north central zone; a zone that has always been controlled by the PDP.
The suggestion that Senator Saraki has always been for the PDP is not only laughable but baseless. Have we forgotten that his late father Oloye Olusola saraki was one of the founding members of the All Nigeria people’s party(ANPP); one of the legacy parties of the APC? Senator Saraki has demonstrated that he is a man of integrity on several occasions including his decision to drop his presidential ambition and working tirelessly for the success of PRESIDENT BUHARI. It is a general knowledge that he fell out with his late father because of his refusal to support his sister to succeed him as the governor of Kwara thereby lending support to someone from a different senatorial zone.
His refusal to endorse Goodluck Jonathan in 2003 as a pdp governor after taking part and agreeing to the outcome of the Northern Political Leaders Forum exercise that produced Alhaji Abubakar Atiku as the sole northern presidential candidate in PDP also comes to mind.
The veracity of the supposed invitation from President Buhari to the APC’s senators is yet to be established as there is still no evidence that president Buhari was at the international conference center for any meeting. Especially when you consider the fact that the president had made clear and public his decision not to interfere with the activities of the national assembly.
There are indications that the “meeting” was intended to corner senator Saraki and his group, senators of like minds as it was clear that he wasn’t ready to drop his ambition just to satisfy a few individuals in the party.
It can be seen at best as an act of political naivety on the part of the senators elect of the APC Unity Forum or at worse negligence of responsibility by proceeding to the International conference center to meet with the president. They should have headed to the national assembly to carry out their first national assignment of being inaugurated and electing their principal officers especially when the president has long made his position known on the subject matter.
The comments credited to the PDP spokesperson on this issue if true, shows that they are yet to come to terms with their rejection by the people of Nigeria after 16 years of failure. The APC has far more to offer Senator Ike Ekweremadu than the PDP would ever dream of. His election as the deputy senate president is first of many moves of the APC to consolidate her position as a truly national party and its commitment to putting the national interest above that of the party at all times.
This is at worst a teething problem for the governing party compared to the Tambuwwal saga that was a terminal ailment for the PDP. We are confident that the leadership of the APC will rise past this challenge and settle down to the business of saving the country by working together and other Nigerians to solve the myriads of problems resulting from the 16 years of misrule of the PDP.
The party leaders are well aware of the many promises made during campaign and internal disagreements over the composition of the National assembly won’t be an acceptable excuse for not living up to the expectation of Nigerians.
Aliyu Audu is a member the All Progressives Youth Forum (APYF)