All Progressives Congress State Governors have urged Senators and House of Representatives members of the party to always follow the dictates of the party.
It has been days of turbulence and uneasy calm in the governing party over filling of the remaining key leadership positions of the 8th Senate and House of Representatives.
A letter written to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, by the APC national Chairman, Chief John Oyegun on Tuesday, forwarded the names of principal officers approved by the party for his “necessary action”.
The names are Senator Ahmed Lawan (Majority Leader) – North-East; Prof. Sola Adeyeye (Chief Whip) – South-West; Sen. George Akume (Deputy Majority Leader) – North-Central; and Sen. Abu Ibrahim (Deputy Chief Whip) – North-West.
For the green chamber, Mr. Oyegun told Speaker Yakubu Dogara to also take “necessary action” on the names of principal officers approved by the party after “extensive consultations”.
They are as follows: Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (House Leader) South-West; Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa (Deputy House Leader) – North-West; Hon. M. T. Monguno (Chief Whip) – North-East; and Hon. Pally Iriase (Deputy Chief Whip) – South-South.
Senator Saraki and Hon. Dogara emerged as Senate President and Speaker of the House respectively against the wish of the party.
The list sent by the party has been prescribed as panacea to rebuild trust between the party hierarchy and the Bukola and Dogara camps but there are reports the duo are again set to go against the party’s wish.
It was in apparent recognition of this trend by the lawmakers to flagrantly disobey party directives that made 16 out of the 22 governors elected on the platform of APC to hold a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday night.
Emerging from the meeting, which held at the State House Abuja in the early hours of Wednesday morning, the governors insisted on the supremacy of the party’s position, stressing that they have never gone against the wish of the party as governors.
Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, told State House Correspondents that he and his colleagues were worried by the development in the National Assembly and decided to rub minds with the President on the matter.
He said, “With all these achievements and progress we are making, we are worried by the pockets of disagreements going on at the National Assembly.
“We have resolved that we came from a party and our party’s views should be respected.
“So, we feel that there is the need for us to invite our senators and look more into the matter and see how we can all make peace.
“We believe that everyone should respect our party from which we all came from and for that reason, we have decided that we are going to invite our senators and rub minds with them.
“We are saying that there should not be a winner-takes-it-all; that we should carry everybody along and accommodate others as suggested by the party”.
Speaking in the same vein, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State said all they agreed on was that senators should adopt the position of the party.
“We were all elected on the platform of the party. We are not just a collection of individuals, we are a political party and when the party has spoken we must listen, otherwise if it was a game of individuals like golf then individuals can go their way.
“I think it is very clear at this point that the party has the responsibility to keep the system going, so we as progressive governors, we have listened to the President and we have discussed extensively and we are clear that the party’s position should be supported by the senators.
“This is the way it should be and we should start on a note of working closely. We as governors, we listen to the party, we expect our senators to also listen to the party.
“We are going to call them and tell them this is it and explain our reasons, it is about party supremacy”.