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New Senate President, Speaker: APC Leaders Get Deadline

Posted by on March 17th, 2019

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it has learnt from the leadership crisis that rocked the eighth National Assembly. Against the wish of the national leadership of the party, Senator Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara had emerged as the Senate President and the Speaker of the House.
Their emergence contravened the zoning arrangement made by the party. While Saraki is from Kwara State in the North-Central, Dogara is from Bauchi State in the North-East. The party had zoned the Senate Presidency to the North-East and Speaker to the South-West.

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But the two men, who were then members of the APC, defied the directives of the party and formed alliances with members of their former party – the Peoples Democratic Party.

This caused tension between the assembly’s leadership and the party’s hierarchy, which is still dragging. In the heat of the strained relationship, Saraki and Dogara returned to the PDP.

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To avoid a repeat of the tussle, members of the National Assembly, elected on the platform of the party for the ninth assembly, urged the APC leadership to come out with the zoning arrangement because of some of them who have ambitions.

They advised the National Working Committee to meet within seven days to chart a direction.

Speaking with The Punch on Saturday, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said the party would meet soon to come out clear on its position on the matter.

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He said, “The party knows the best action to take and will always rise to the occasion. This is without prejudice to the good ideas they (lawmakers-elect) have espoused. The party understands its responsibility and the peculiarity of the situation we are in.”

Issa-Onilu added that the APC had learnt and would avoid a repeat of the mistakes of the past on the emergence of the principal officers.

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He stated, “The party has learnt from the past and would do its best by responding appropriately, without prejudice to their good ideas.”

Asked if the NWC would meet within the seven days, he added, “There is always a chance of meeting. I cannot be specific but a date has not been fixed. We don’t need one-month notice; issues can come up at anytime that will warrant a meeting. A provision is also made for an emergency meeting. The party is up and doing and understands its responsibility.”

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