APC Leadership Crisis Deepens

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki yesterday rejected a move by some All Progressives Party (APC) senators to read the letter by the leadership of the party recommending some senators to occupy principal offices of the senate.
The ruling party of which Saraki is a member has been locked in crisis over who occupies various leadership slots at the National Assembly.
Sen. Gbenga Ashafa (APC-Lagos East), who relied on Order 15 of the Senate Standing Order, urged that the President of the Senate should read on the floor of the Red Chamber the letter from the Party.
“Yesterday, most of the media houses carried a letter that was written by the Chairman of our great party, the APC.
“We were expecting that that letter which has been received in your office will be read in order to see to the resolution of the party leadership tussle,” he said.
He backed the decision of the party leadership to recommend persons to occupy the other positions exclusively preserved for the party.
Quoting from Order 28 (1) he read: “There shall be a Majority Leader of the Senate. The Majority Leader shall be a senator nominated from the party with the highest number of senators.
“I believe that that letter should have been read to the hearing of all senators here present. Perhaps that will be the solution to the leadership tussle in the Senate,” he said.
APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, had in a letter dated June 22, 2015, recommended senators to occupy principal positions.
The party recommended Sen. Ahmad Lawan as Senate Leader; George Akume, Deputy Senate Leader; Olusola Adeyeye as Chief Whip; and Abu Ibrahim as Deputy Whip.
However, Sen. Ibn Na’Allah (APC-Kebbi South) immediately countered the point of order and explained that the nomination should be made `from’ the party not made `by’ the party.

The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, who presided over plenary, ruled Sen. Ashafa out of order and declined to read the letter.
“I have listened to Senators Ashafa and Na’Allah. Going by the rules and what has been said earlier, I think I will just note what Senator Ashafa has said.
“We will leave the matter as that and in that case, I rule that out of order,” he ruled.
Saraki had earlier defied the party’s directive to step down his bid to become President of the Senate. His controversial emergence following a highly disputed election, which had barely half the number of senators that make up the senate in attendance, has continued to pitch party members against each other.
Another attempt was made by Sen. Kabir Marafa (APC-Zamfara Central) to question the June 9 election of Saraki and Ekweremadu, but that too was ruled out of order by the President of the Senate.
Marafa, relying on Order 110 and 3 (e) (i), of the Senate Standing Order, sought to know which of the Order Books (2011 or 2015)
Marafa insisted that there was a conflict in the two books as to the procedure that should be taken for election of presiding officers of the senate.
Proffering explanation, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekwerenmadu, said that from 1999 till date, the Senate had come with its own rules.
“There was Senate Rule of 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 and now 2015. The reason is quite simple.
“If you look at Section 64 of the 1999 Constitution it says that the Senate and House of Representatives shall each stand dissolved at the expiration of a period of four years commencing from the date of the first sitting of the house.
Meanwhile the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustee (BoT), says the party has the capacity to provide guidance to the party`s executives and it members in the National Assembly.
Sen. Walid Jibrin, the Secretary of the PDP BoT, stated this while speaking with newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja, at the end of the BoT meeting.
He said that this was the reason it was collaborating with the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) to ensure that there was sanity in appointment within the National Assembly.
He added that the BoT would ensure that PDP members in the National Assembly remained calmed and undisturbed in the face of obvious challenges.
“ We are doing all our best to ensure that sanity is brought to our party, our party is going to kick again and we are going to bounce back,’’ he said.
Jibrin however added that the cooperation of PDP members in the National Assembly was necessary to ensure it bounced back in 2019.
He urged them to give the party’s leadership time and support to ensure that it was brought back to prominence.
Also speaking to newsmen, Dr Hiliru Bello, the Acting Chairman of the PDP BoT, re-emphasised that the party would ensure credible opposition to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“We will help the government where we think they are not doing the right thing and we will bring their attention to things that are not working,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the PDP BoT meeting would continue on June 25. (NAN)