NASS: Respect party supremacy – APC governors tell Saraki

By The Citizen

The All Progressives Congress (APC) governors yesterday called on the party's senators and House of Representatives members to stick with the positions of the party in picking their leaders.

There has been tension in the Senate over the remaining key leadership positions after the controversial June 9 elections.

The party is backing Senator Ahmad Lawan (North-East) for Senate Leader, Senator George Akume (North-Central) for Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Olusola Adeyeye (South-West), Chief Whip and Senator Abu Ibrahim (North-West), Deputy Chief Whip.

But members of the Like Minds, the group supporting Senator Bukola Saraki, are opposed to the party's position.

Sixteen of the 22 APC governors attended a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue, among others, at the State House, Abuja between Tuesday night and early yesterday.

Speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, they insisted on the supremacy of the party's position.

Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole said: 'Basically, what we are saying is that the 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 ways. 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.'

Oshiomhole added: 'We as governors, we listen to the party and 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. We can't continue to allow individuals to…it is about party supremacy.'

APC Governors' Forum Chairman Rochas Okorocha said: 'We are worried by what is happening at the National Assembly. We felt we should rub minds with Mr. President and also to commend him on the steps he has taken so far to address the issue of the economy of the nation, which is literally in shambles.

According to him, the meeting with the President was more reassuring and showed that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

He said: 'But with all these achievements we are making, progress we are making, we are worried by the pockets of disagreements going on at the National Assembly and we have resolved that we came from a party and our party's views should be respected.

'And so we feel that there is room for us to invite our senators and look more into the matter and see how we can all make peace.

'We believe that our party, which we all came from, that everyone should respect our party 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 shouldn't be a winner-takes-all, that we should carry everybody along, and accommodate others as suggested by the party.' He stated

The APC states not represented at the meeting are Lagos, Zamfara, Ogun, Sokoto, Yobe and Bauchi.