A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Yekini Nabena has revealed plots by Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and the leadership of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to hijack the leadership of the 9th session of the National Assembly by influencing who emerges leaders of both chambers.
Nabena said in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja that the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) must move fast to nip such moves in the bud by coming out with a zoning formular for the emergence of leaders of the legislature.
Nebena who is also the Deputy National Publicity Secretary said the Senate President is working in tandem with what he called “Otta farm”, warning that the APC must move quickly and urgently rollout the zoning arrangements to avoid a repeat of what happened in 2015.
Both incumbent Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara emerged Senate President and Speaker against the party’s wish in the outgoing 8th National Assembly.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja, Nabena said the outgoing Senate President and his party (PDP) have devised plans to ensure that there loyalists take control of the legislative arm of government.
He said: “The outgoing Senate President and the PDP caucus have begun surreptitious move to lure some new APC lawmakers with juicy committee position in return for their support for the PDP choice for the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives.
“Already, Saraki’s henchman, Dino Melaye and some other returning PDP federal lawmakers have scheduled meetings with some APC lawmakers from Wednesday to Sunday in a yet-to-be announced venue.”
He stressed that “It is important that the APC leadership meet and urgently rollout a fair zoning arrangement to ensure that we produce our preferred candidates for all leadership positions in the incoming National Assembly.
“Since Saraki lost his bid to return to the Senate and control of his home state, Kwara, he has devised a plan to ensure that he influences the choice of the incoming National Assembly Leadership. This is Saraki’s last-ditch effort to remain politically relevant.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) described the allegation as diversionary and baseless, saying however, that the governing party has every right to enjoy its delusion of persecution.
In a chat with our correspondent in Abuja yesterday, the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan said the PDP has more pressing issues to engage it’s time.
Ologbondiyan said, “Let Yekini Nabena and the All Progressives Progressives Congress (APC) be told in clear terms that the National Assembly is a political environment.
“So if crying and whining over National Assembly leadership positions will help their cause, let them continue to indulge themselves.
“Do they expect the PDP with about 42 members in the Senate, which may increase before June, to sit on the fence and be watching events?
“For now, we are in court to retrieve our stolen presidential mandate and preparing for supplementary election in states where the INEC declared the March 9 governorship and state assembly elections inconclusive. That is our focus for now.
“Let them wait till June for the election of leadership of the National Assembly and see how things play out. We believe that when we get to the bridge we will cross it”.
The PDP however said in a statement yesterday that Nigerians will not vote in vain, assuring that the votes they freely gave to its candidates in the 2019 general elections will never be in vain.
The statement, signed by Ologbondiyan, expressed optimism that the party will surely recover the presidential mandate given to its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and ensure that none of the states where it is in the lead ahead of the March 23 supplementary election will be hijacked by the APC.
Ologbondiyan quoted the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, as stating the party’s position during a solidarity visit by the leadership of the party on Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, on Tuesday, ahead of Saturday’s supplementary election.
He further quoted Secondus as stating that Nigerians are extremely hurting over the “rigging” of the presidential and other elections by the APC, as well as alleged schemes to forcefully take over states already won by the PDP, leading to the supplementary elections.
“Elections are about the will of the people. When you force yourself on the people; that is not democracy. Today, Nigerians are unhappy with the way elections were rigged without allowing the will of the people to prevail”, Secondus said.
Tambuwal was reported to have assured that the PDP and the people of Sokoto state were upbeat and fully mobilized to ensure that their will is not subverted.
“We are upbeat as Sokoto state has never been this mobilised. People are praying and fasting by themselves and they are ready once again to ensure that their will is not subverted.
“What happened in the last elections was unimaginable as security agents took over the state. Ballot papers were found with APC members on the streets. The staff of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission stormed the residences of our members, harassing and intimidating them.
“Even on the day of election, they were going round the polling units and picking up our members. There were open rigging in about six of the local government areas.
“They brought their federal might to bear but the will of the people prevailed against them and we won, yet they declared the election inconclusive.
“So, in Sokoto, they have the will of the people to contend with and given the prayers that our people are offering everyday and their decision to checkmate the rigging of APC, victory is sure to be for us and the PDP”, Tambuwal was quoted to have said.
The main opposition party urged all its members and supporters to remain steadfast and march out on March 23 to consolidate on the victory already won by the party in the states where supplementary elections have been scheduled.