APC moves to clip Tinubu’s Wings

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Strategies to strip Bola Tinubu of APC national leadership intensifies, due to his glaring unbridled influence, Writes Obute James
Penultimate Wednesday June 17, the Nigerian Governors Forum congratulated the newly inaugurated leadership of the 8th National Assembly, pledging to cooperate with the new leaders for the good of the country. This is coming at the time the leadership of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) made u-turn and also declared support for Senator Bukola Saraki and Hon. Yakubu Dogora-led National Assembly.
The party had earlier rejected the process that brought up Senator Saraki as Senate President and Dogora as Speaker of the House of Representatives as well as their deputies, threatening to sanction them.
While APC leadership in a controversial mock election, nominated Senator Ahmed Lawan for Senate President and Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker of the House of Representatives, Saraki and Dogora were duly nominated by their colleagues in the red and green chambers and elected them as Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively.
Saraki was declared unopposed with 57 votes. 57 senators were in the chamber as of the time of this election. Dogara also scored 182 votes while Mr. Ggajabiamila lost with 174 votes
Similarly, while PDP’s Ike Ekweremdu defeated Senator Ali Ndume 54 to 20 votes to become Deputy Senate President, Hon. Mohammed Mungono (anointed candidate of APC) lost to Hon. Yusuf Suleiman Lasun as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Several APC senators were not in the chamber when the election in the Senate was conducted, giving way for the emergence of Senator Ekweremadu as the Deputy Senate President. Lasun scored 203 votes to defeat his opponent, Monguno who got 153 votes.
The two anointed candidates, Lawan and Femi were seen as staunch loyalists of Senator Ahmed Tinubu, former Lagos State Governor and APC National Leader.
The chairmen of the state chapters of the All Progressives Congress Wednesday June 17, 2015 expressed support for the stand taken by President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, over the emergence of the new leadership of the National Assembly.
The position of APC state chairmen came just as facts emerged that the meeting of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) scheduled to take place on the same date had to be postponed owing to the absence of the former Lagos State governor, Senator Bola Tinubu
It was gathered that efforts are being made to convene a national convention where the party constitution will be amended in order to make President of the country a national leaders and also to make governors and local government chairmen as states and LG leaders respectively. This will undoubtedly deprive Bola Tinubu of the position of national leader.
Tinubu on the other hand is fighting seriously to ensure former Vice President Atiku Abubakar does not emerge as BoT Chairman due to the role he played in the emergence of the new National Assembly leaders.
Rising from a meeting convened under the auspices of the forum of APC state chairmen to review the challenges that bedeviled the party before, during and after the 2015 general election, the chairmen said they totally supported the decision taken by President Buhari to accept the outcome of the leadership election in the National Assembly despite the shortcomings.
Both President Buhari and Oyegun had accepted the emergence of the new National Assembly leadership as a constitutional reality that should not be ignored.
In a communique issued and signed by the chairman of the Kano State APC, and acting Chairman of the forum, Umar Haruna Mohammed, at the end of their meeting in Abuja, the chairmen said, “We totally aligned ourselves with the president’s position regarding the leadership of the National Assembly.”
They urged the party’s leadership to ensure that funds are made available to state chapters without delay in order to help them defray their liabilities with the resolutions of the National Executive Council (NEC).
“Chairman sir, we acknowledge the enormity of the responsibilities placed on the office of the chairman and as such we urge you to brace up and be alive to the challenges so as to move the party forward. You should always see us as partners in progress and your own foot soldiers as we pray for more successes in future, “ they said.
Similarly, on Wednesday June 17, 2015, the Nigerian Governors Forum (‎NGF) congratulated the newly inaugurated leadership of the 8th National Assembly, pledging to cooperate with the new leadership for the good of the country. NGF also promised to commit themselves to work with President Muhammadu Buhari in moving the nation forward.
The governors made this pledge in a communique issued at the end of their meeting in Abuja on Wednesday which was signed by the NGF Chairman, Governor Abdullazeez Yari.
They used the meeting to ratify the nomination of Governor Yari who was at their last meeting elected by consensus for a renewable period of one year.
The communique further revealed that the governors “deliberated extensively on various issues of national interest to be discussed with Mr. President in order to seek lasting solutions to the economic challenges confronting the nation”.
It further hinted that the NGF will, “undertake a Retreat dedicated exclusively to how States can become more viable and identify means of improving governance”.
The Forum equally sympathized with states ravaged by insurgency in the north eastern part of the country and pledged to assist such states rebuild, restructure and rehabilitate internally displaced persons, IDPs.
While congratulating Muslim faithful for the holy month of Ramadan, the governors enjoined them to use the month to pray for peace and stability of the nation.
Responding, to allegation that he will work against President Buhari’s anti corruption crusade, Senator Saraki said he is determined to work with Buhari in all aspect of government that will lead to progress of the nation.
The Members of “The Like Minds Senators”, Wednesday, gave assurances that the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, will work towards the success of the anti–corruption crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The senators, in a statement by their Coordinator, Senator Dino Melaye, also pledged that Saraki would not in any way, be a stumbling block against Buhari’s anti-corruption posture, assuring members of the public that the 8th Senate under him, would give all necessary legislative support to the administration to fight and reduce corruption.
According to the Senators, Saraki’s bold steps against the so-called oil barons in the past, was an indication that he was committed to anti-corruption, describing as mischievous and totally false, insinuations in some quarters that the election of Saraki as senate president was sponsored and facilitated by some corrupt Nigerians, who are oil barons.
The statement reads:
“For the avoidance of doubt, we want to make it abundantly clear that it is totally false, untrue and a calculated mischief to suggest that Senator Saraki’s emergence as senate president was facilitated by oil barons.
“This is a case of calling the dog a bad name so as to hang it. That is another blatant lie that cannot fly. Senator Bukola Saraki is determined and focused to achieve the Senate targeted legislative agenda and he is committed to supporting President Buhari to deliver on his promises to the people of Nigeria”.
The Senators also added that Saraki, as Chairman of the Senate Adhoc Committee in the 7th Senate, exposed the fraud and mismanagement in the oil sector, adding that “until Saraki’s motion on the floor of the senate, no one was in the picture of the rot in the sector.
“Surely, Senator Saraki will be the last person the oil baron will want to see as Senate President.
“In that position, Saraki did not only lead his colleagues in exposing the rot in the scheme but made very strong recommendations on how the system could be reformed and made corruption-free.
“Further to this, during the Senate hearing on the missing $20bn, for those who attended the public hearing, Saraki led the onslaught of difficult questions to the Minister of Finance, Minister of Petroleum and other federal agencies despite being in the ruling party then.
“To this effect, Saraki refused to sign the final copy of the committee’s report but rather put forward a minority report with a press statement that followed suit.
Saraki also went further to oppose the inclusion of kerosene subsidy in the 2015 budget as well as his opposition to Petroleum Swap deal by NNPC”.
President Buhari had earlier on June 9, 2015 affirmed that the process that brought Saraki and Dogora as principal officers of National Assembly is constitutional.
A statement issued by the Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) said the president would rather that the process of electing the leaders as initiated and concluded by the All Progressives Congress (APC) had been followed. Nonetheless the President took the view that a constitutional process has somewhat occurred.
“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,” Adesina said.
“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.
The President called on all the elected representatives of the people to focus on the enormous task of bringing enduring positive change to the lives of Nigerians.

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