Dogara “Principal officers will be name on July 21”

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr.
Yakubu Dogara, said on Tuesday that the
leadership tussle in the All Progressives Congress
caucus of the House was almost over.
Dogara, who spoke while addressing some APC
youths, under the aegis of the APC Youth
Mobilisers and Professionals, who visited the
National Assembly, said he would announce the
principal officers of the House on July 21.
“We will announce the remaining four principal
officers by the time we reconvene on July 21.We
pray that this matter has come to an end by the
grace of God,” the Speaker told the APC youths.
He said there had been a series of meetings to
resolve the crisis in the party and that there were
positive signs that the crisis was nearing its end.
However, Dogara did not specify whether the
names to be announced on July 21 would be the
same as those recommended by the leadership of
the APC or he would stick to his position that each
of the six geopolitical zones in the country should
have one seat.
Rather, he went spiritual by telling the youths that
leadership was ordained by God and that His wish
must be respected at all times.
The Speaker argued that God must have ordained
the emergence of certain political leaders, which
was being seen as “a mistake”.
“If there were mistakes that were made, we must
admit that God allowed these mistakes to make the
way for another person’s destiny to happen,” he
stated.
The lawmakers went into a forced break on June
24 after fighting broke out on the floor of the House
over the sharing of principal offices.
The APC leadership had in a letter dated June 23
asked the Speaker to announce Mr. Femi
Gbajabiamila (South-West) as the Majority Leader;
Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa (North-West) as his
deputy; Mr. Mohammed Monguno (North-East) as
the Chief Whip; and Mr. Pally Iriase (South-South)
as his deputy.
The North-East and the South-South later
swapped positions.
But, the Speaker declined to name the officers,
given the pressure from other geopolitical zones,
which had complained of being edged out of the
power sharing arrangement in the House.
Dogara, who was favourably disposed to giving the
North-Central and the South-East one seat each in
order to accommodate all the six geopolitical
zones, also later told Nigerians that he was
restrained by a court process not to name the
officers.
The APC’s National Executive Committee later
waded in through its governors’ forum, asking a
committee headed by the Governor of Sokoto
State, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, to look into the crisis.
The committee had met separately with the two
warring factions, led by Dogara and Gbajabiamila,
a former Minority Leader.
Although the Tambuwal committee did not make its
findings and recommendations to the governors
public, there had been speculations that the
committee shared the same view as expressed by
the Dogara faction.
On Wednesday last week, the Dogara group said it
had conceded all four principal positions to the
Gbajabiamila group, so long as the North-East and
the South-West would not get additional seats.
The Gbajabiamila group promptly dismissed the
concession and insisted on sticking to its position
as already directed by the APC.
Findings showed that as of Tuesday when Dogara
hinted that the crisis was almost over, the
Gbajabimaila group had not shifted ground on its
position.
However, the Speaker informed the youths that
there was still one more meeting he needed to
attend later same Tuesday, where he hoped the
dispute would be finally resolved.
Earlier, the chairman of the APC youth group, Mr.
Ismai Ahmed, had warned the party’s leaders
against allowing the National Assembly crisis to
derail the APC-led Federal Government.
Ahmed expressed displeasure that having worked
so hard to ensure that the APC won the general
elections, the youths had expected the party
leaders to settle down quickly and provide good
governance “and not fighting over issues such as
sharing of positions.”
Ahmed said, “We won the election, but we must
win the country too. The House must be put in
order.
“We know that you have the capacity to handle the
present issue and we want it nipped in the bud so
that we can have a functioning National Assembly
by July 21.”
Meanwhile, the peace moves initiated by the
leadership of the APC to find a solution to the
leadership crisis rocking the Senate might have hit
the rock again as the Edo State Governor Adams
Oshiomhole-led committee saddled with the
responsibility has not been able to convene any
meeting.
The PUNCH learnt on Tuesday that the committee
members had not been able to meet because most
of the principal actors in the crisis, including the
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and his rival,
Ahmad Lawan, had been away for the lesser hajj.
When contacted, the Special Adviser to the Senate
President, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, confirmed that
the peace moves might be concluded when the
senators return from hajj.
“There is little that could be done at the moment
because the principal actors are currently in Saudi
Arabia for Umrah. I think the governors should be
in a better position to give an update on the
matter,” he said.
The leadership crisis in the Senate started when
the leaders of the APC conducted a mock election
to pick the candidates for the offices of the senate
president and the deputy.
Lawan emerged as the party’s candidate for the
office of the senate president but the loyalists of
Saraki boycotted the mock poll and reportedly
formed an alliance with the opposition Peoples
Democratic Party to clinch the post.
The APC/PDP alliance in the Senate had produced
Saraki as president while Senator Ike Ekweremadu
of the PDP emerged as his deputy.
Notwithstanding the development, the Chairman of
the APC, Chief John Odigie – Oyegun, had written
to Saraki and nominated Lawan and three others
as the party’s choices for the post of senate
leader, deputy leader, chief whip and deputy whip.
However, the Saraki camp had insisted that the
APC caucus in the Senate at the various zonal
levels would determine their representatives who
would hold the aforementioned positions.
Culled from punchng.com

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