Buhari, PDP okay Saraki, Dogara, APC rejects winners
The emergence yesterday of new leaders of the National Assembly has elicited mixed reactions from President Muhammadu Buhari, All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
A statement issued by Buhari’s Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Femi Adesina said the president “would rather that the process of electing the leaders as initiated and concluded by the APC had been followed. Nonetheless the President took the view that a constitutional process has somewhat occurred.”
According to Adesina, “President Buhari had said in an earlier statement that he did not have any preferred candidate for the Senate and the House of Representatives, and that he was willing to work with whoever the lawmakers elected.
That sentiment still stands. Though he would have preferred the new leaders to have emerged through the process established by the party”.
Adesina stressed that the stability of our constitutional order and overall interest of the common man were uppermost on the President’s mind, as far as the National Assembly elections were concerned.
But Buhari’s party, APC, is mulling a punitive action against the newly elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and the new Senate President, Bukola Saraki for allegedly defying its order not to contest for the leadership of the National Assembly.
In a statement by the party’s spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed yesterday, APC described as totally unacceptable and the highest level of indiscipline and treachery the conduct of Saraki and Dogara. The party hinted that it will not lie the matter low as it would consider punitive action against the duo. ‘
’Senator Bukola and Hon. Dogara are not the candidates of the APC and a majority of its National Assembly members-elect for the positions of Senate President and House Speaker.
The party duly met and conducted a straw poll and clear candidates emerged for the posts of Senate President, Deputy Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, supported by a majority of all Senators-elect and members-elect of the House of Representatives. All National Assembly members-elect who emerged on the platform of the party are bound by that decision.
The party is supreme and its interest is superior to that of its individual members. ‘’Consequently, the APC leadership is meeting in a bid to reestablish discipline in the party and to mete out the necessary sanctions to all those involved in what is nothing but a monumental act of indiscipline and betrayal to subject the party to ridicule and create obstacles for the new administration, ‘’ APC said.
The party decried “a situation in which some people, based on nothing but inordinate ambition and lack of discipline and loyalty, will enter into an unholy alliance with the very same people whom the party and indeed the entire country worked hard to replace and sell out the hard won victory of the Party.
‘’There can be no higher level of treachery, disloyalty and insincerity within any party,’’ the party said, vowing to resolve the matter using all constitutional and legal means available to it.
Meanwhile, the PDP has congratulated Saraki, his Deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu as well as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dogara, noting that their elections underscore the fact that no section of the country should be neglected on national issues.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement yesterday described the development in both chambers of the National Assembly as “victory for democracy and triumph of the time-honored value of the PDP that every zone and segment of the country must at all times be given a sense of belonging in governance.”
The PDP assured that it would continue to partner with like minds in other political parties and groups to ensure that the nation’s democracy, which it nurtured in the last 16 years is sustained in the overall interest of the Nigerian people. “What is paramount to the PDP is the sustenance of our democracy and the wellbeing of our people, irrespective of creed, class or ethnicity.
The PDP is therefore willing and ready to partner with like-minded individuals in other political parties and groups to sustain our democracy, ensure good governance and promote the unity and stability of our dear nation. Nigeria as a nation belongs to all of us. Its interest therefore must be put over and above personal, partisan or group interests at all times,” the opposition party said.
The statement also commended the PDP Acting National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus for successfully galvanizing PDP members in both chambers of the National Assembly, which contributed to the peaceful conduct of the elections.