#DividedHouse: Saraki, Dogara Shun APC Internal Assembly Election As Lawan, Gbajabiamila Win

#DividedHouse: Saraki, Dogara Shun APC Internal Assembly Election As Lawan, Gbajabiamila Win

By News Desk | The Trent on June 7, 2015
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Appeal Court Saraki
Senator Bukola Saraki speaking during a meeting with the press corp on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 | NAN

The in-fighting in the All Progressives Congress (APC) worsened on Saturday, June 6, 2015 as two factions of lawmakers boycotted an attempt by the party leadership to impose candidates for the positions of Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The party had scheduled a meeting with the lawmakers at the International Conference Center, Abuja with the hope of producing candidates for the aforementioned positions.

Things began to go south early in the day as a faction of House of Representatives members loyal to Yakubu Dogara of Bauchi State staged a walk out from the venue citing an “ambush” by the party leadership.

In their absence, Femi Gbajabiamila of Lagos State, who many say has the backing of the party leadership emerged victorious, polling 154 votes to defeat Dogara, who got a paltry 3 votes.

Later in the day, Senators of the Upper Chamber arrived for their meeting, but just like their colleagues from the lower chamber, a faction of lawmakers boycotted the exercise.

Perceiving that the support of the party leadership had tilted away from the, senators loyal to former Kwara State Governor, Bukola Saraki failed to show up with sources saying that the party insisted on an open ballot when the Saraki faction favoured a secret ballot system.

Their absence paved the way for Yobe Senator, Ahmed Lawan to carry the day, garnering 32 out of 33 votes. One vote was ruled as invalid.

Former Benue State Governor, George Akume emerged as the APC’s candidate for the post of Deputy Senate president, polling 31 out of 33 votes, with 2 votes declared invalid.

Speaking after the exercise, Lawan said: “This is history in the making. Change has come to Nigeria and our party is exhibiting change in all its activities.

“The process has been transparent, and we have confidence that this national working committee will go ahead to bring everybody together.

“Nigerians deserve a functional legislature, and a productive and focused legislature. From this moment on we will embark on reaching out to our colleagues on the other side.‎”

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