Monday, June 8, 2015

NASS leadership tussle : Dogara, Saraki threaten APC

Dogara, Saraki
LAGOS — The All Progressives Congress, APC, was at the weekend teetering towards a major crisis following serious disagreements over the emergence of the new leadership of the National Assembly.
The party leadership was, however, last night rallying round to quench the dissent with an appeal for unity, saying the party must not enter tomorrow’s leadership contest as a divided party.

That appeal was, however, of little effect in the camp of supporters of Senator Bukola Saraki’s aspiration for Senate President and those for Rep. Yakubu Dogara’s speakership ambition who were insisting on taking the battle to the floor of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Supporters of Dogara, it was learnt, had petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari as the party leader to step into the matter.

Meanwhile, despite assertions that it would not be involved in the unfolding script, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was last night also mobilising for a strategic alliance with the Saraki and Dogara tendencies in the APC.

A number of PDP governors, it was learnt, are arriving Abuja today ahead of tomorrow’s leadership contests.

The APC has 209 members-elect while the PDP has 140 with smaller parties producing the remaining.

Mock election
The crisis in the APC was widened at the weekend after some national officers of the party organised a mock election to pick a candidate for Senate President and Speaker.

Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila won the ballot among the members-elect after Dogara pulled out alleging that it was an ambush as he was never informed that the meeting with party elders was to be a mock election.

In his absence, Gbajabiamila, the outgoing Minority Leader of the House, polled 153 votes to the three polled by Dogara. Dogara yesterday rejected the result, saying that in his absence he could not have been nominated for what he called a mockery of democracy orchestrated by a few national officers.

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