The President Tuesday during a peace meeting with the APC Caucus in the House at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, which was meant to avert an impending uproar as the House plenary session resumes today.
According to an insider, the President went straight to the point by impressing it on all concerned that party supremacy was non-negotiable, adding that he had noticed that his stance on the matter at the last APC NEC meeting was misconstrued.
Buhari insisted that the House leadership must go by an earlier official communication to Speaker Yakubu Dogara by the APC national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, via a letter containing a list of nominees for the positions of principal officers in the House.
He was said to have insisted that the leadership crisis must be settled quickly and asked both warring factions to go for another meeting with the leadership of the APC and report back to him on the outcome. He told them to resolve the impasse in the interest of Nigerians who voted them as their representatives.
“The President said he stood by the party’s position on the matter but if anyone had a contrary opinion, it should be addressed through the same party machinery.”
According to the source, when Buhari finished his admonition, Dogara was asked to talk but the Speaker said “no comment” and the meeting thereafter ended.
“In essence he (Buhari) said the lawmakers should go and sort out their differences through the party mechanism and get back to him within hours,” the source added.
Deputy Chairman, House Media Committee, Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas, also confirmed to State House Correspondents that President Buhari appealed to the lawmakers to meet with the party leadership and report back to him last night.
Meanwhile, the Consolidation Group which is loyal to Dogara was meeting with the leadership of the APC by the time of going to press to present their grievances over the party’s list of the principal officers in the House as directed by the President.
It is expected that the Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila-led Loyalists Group will also confer with the party hierarchy between now and Tuesday morning should the list be altered against its interest.
A source at the meeting told our correspondent that the President pointed out to the lawmakers that there was no way the APC government would achieve good governance without them accepting the fact that the party was supreme.
The warring factions’ members stepped out of the meeting apparently eager to tell journalists how the President’s position favoured their respective camps.
However, leaders of the respective factions expressed hope that the impasse would soon be resolved.
Gbajabiamila who spoke to journalists first said while the meeting was a family affair, it was healthy because it was the first time the two factions were meeting the President.
On his part, Speaker Dogara noted that he had always stood by the party, adding that the crisis will soon be resolved
House Leader: Why I accepted Dogara’s offer – Doguwa
A member of the Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila-led The Loyalists Group, Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa (APC, Kano), has explained that his decision to grab the House of Representatives leadership offer made by Speaker Yakubu Dogara’s group was because the interest of his group had been taken care of.
Doguwa, who represents Doguwa/Tudun Wada Federal Constituency of Kano State, made the disclosure on a live television programme of the Television Continental (TVC) monitored by our reporters in Abuja.
“What you must understand is the fact that in politics, what is only permanent is the interest; but associations, partnerships, friendships and whatever other political arrangements, are not a permanent thing. What is important to us is our interest. I want to assure you that this arrangement has accommodated our interest, and we’ll go ahead with this arrangement,” he said.
He, however, added that his relationship with Gbajabiamila remains cordial.
Dogara threatens to suspend Gbajabiamila loyalists if…
Speaker Yakubu Dogara has threatened to suspend members of the APC Loyalist group led by Femi Gbajabiamila if today’s plenary is disrupted.
Also, the House leadership denied plans to block members of the group from entering the National Assembly complex today.
In a statement issued by Hon. Aminu Shehu Shagari, Chairman, House Adhoc Committee on Code of Conduct, the House warned that there were adequate sanctions in place to penalise any member who may want to disrupt the peace during plenary, committee meetings or other legislative functions of the House.
Lasun rejects APC deal, says he won’t resign for Gbajabiamila
Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives Yusuf Suleiman Lasun, Monday rejected a reported new peace deal by the APC leadership demanding that he resigned his position for the party’s preferred candidate as a condition for peace in the House.
He warned the Loyalists Group led by Femi Gbajabiamila about the futility of forcing him to resign his position for Gbajabiamila as being proposed. According to Lasun, his emergence was through an election, not an appointment.
Lasun told members of Ilobu Development Association (Abuja Chapter) who paid him a solidarity visit in his office: “When I look at that angle (resignation), I laugh. Nature itself has a way of regulating things; you cannot want to benefit from where you have not sowed,” Lasun fired at the Gbajabiamila-led Loyalists Group.
According to him, the pressure being mounted on him to resign for Gbajabiamila amounted to cheating the people of his hometown, Ilobu, Osun State whom he said contributed greatly to APC’s victory in Osun state and presidential election.
“If an Ilobu man is the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives in Nigeria today, we have made our own mark and we have contributed to APC. So, anybody talking about Yusuf Lasun’s resignation only wants to cheat the Ilobu people who have toiled all day and night, having contributed to what APC is in Nigeria today.
“Having gone through an election, it will be difficult for anybody to want to say that the part of the solution, part of options open to APC now is to allow the Deputy Speaker to resign so that there can be peace in the House,” Lasun said.
On the contributions of his hometown, Ilobu, to APC’s election victories, Lasun went down memory lane.
Lasun said, “Ilobu is not only a big supporter of our party but, probably outside Osogbo, the only town whose progressive elections have never been rigged; it is important and I want journalists to underline that. In 2007, we won all our elections in Ilobu and, this year – 2015, we won all our elections as APC and today, what is on ground in Osun State is that besides Osogbo, Ilobu is the strongest APC town in the whole of Osun State.”