The rift in the All Progressives Congress took a new direction on Sunday, June 21, 2015 when Senator Ahmed Lawan’s camp accused the Senate President’s (Bukola Saraki) group of making plans to see to the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The spokesman the Senator Ahmed Lawan group, Senator Kabiru Marafa, stated in an interview with newsmen in Abuja that, “The election of a Peoples Democratic Party senator as deputy senate president is evidently a grand conspiracy to sabotage the Buhari government.”
He revealed that the inaugurartion of the 8th Senate and subsequent election of the Senate President, in the person of Senator Bukola Saraki, with 57 senators present, was an indication that the perpetrators of the act actively involved the management of the federal parliament.
Senator Bukola Saraki teamed up with his former party members, the Peoples Democratic Party to emerge winner of the Senate Presidential race which saw that Senator Ike Ekweremadu emerged as the Deputy senate President also.
Senator Ahmed Lawan’s loyalists in the Senate, under the aegis of a group known as the Senate Unity Forum, stated on Sunday, June 21, 2015 that the election of Senator Ekweremadu was a grand conspiracy to sabotage Buhari’s administration through the legislature.
The Senator Saraki’s camp tag themselves as Like Minds Senators.
Meanwhile. on Friday, June 19, 2015 the Senator Lawan group agreed that the position of the APC leaders that the party should choose the officer, while the Senator Saraki group insists Senate officers should be picked at Zonal office.
The Lawan group also recommended the prosecution of the national Assembly Management for allegedly contributing to the plot.
Marafa stated, “We are convinced that there is a general conspiracy in this country to sabotage the APC government, particularly the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“For God’s sake, why should Senator Bukola Saraki be declared as senate president with 57 votes while 51 other senators were disenfranchised.
“The management of the National Assembly knew that 109 Senators were being expected on the day of inauguration.
“Why did they not wait for the others to arrive before rushing to conduct election?”
Marafa further argued that no opposition senator made any attempt to seek action into the majority position when the PDP had the majority during the 2011 senate.
He asked, “Why should somebody do it now?
“Is it because Muhammadu Buhari (President) from the north is the President?
He bemoaned that, “People are asking why we did not go to court to challenge Ekweremadu’s election.
“Why should we bother ourselves to go to court when there is already a grand conspiracy to frustrate all our moves?
“The conspirators had hijacked the media and are using them to complicate issues even in the court of public opinion.
“Why should we go to court?
“The Senate standing rule that was reviewed overnight is another pointer to the the fact that the inauguration of the Senate on(Tuesday) June 9 (2015) and the election of Saraki/Ekweremadu was part of the planned conspiracy.
“That is a criminal conspiracy.
“Our standing rules were changed.
“Who chnaged them?
“Why were they changed?
“Who brought ballot boxes inside the chamber on (Tuesday), June 9, (2015)?
“Those who brought in the the ballot boxes were obviously privy to the grand conspiracy.
“The rule of division was adopted in 2011 when David Mark contested election.
“People’s names were being called and each person would stand up and say who they want to vote for.
“But on June 9, boxes were brought into the chamber. Who brought them? Who changed our rule? President Buhari should prosecute the perpetrators of the criminal act because that was corruption”
A member of the Like Minds Senators, Rafiu Ibrahim, however, on Sunday, June 21, 2015 denied all allegations of conspiracy against the government of President Buhari with the election of Senator Ekweremadu.
He stated that, “We (Pro- Saraki group) campaigned across the party lines because some APC senators already had their candidate.
“However, when members of the Senate Unity Forum were not around in the chamber to vote, the PDP seized the opportunity to contest and Ekweremadu, being a two-term senate president, used his goodwill among the senators to score 54 votes across the APC and the PDP.
“There was no case of conspiracy; there was no form of pact. In fact members of the Senate Unity Forum should be held responsible for the emergence of Ekweremadu as deputy senate president.
“If they had not absconded on the day of inauguration, an APC senator would have emerged just like what happened in the House of Representatives.
“It is not correct to say that the election of Ekweremadu was part of a design to make President Buhari’s administration to fail. Rather, the Saraki leadership in the Senate would ensure the success of President Buhari’s programmes and policies and he had started work on it already.”
Meanwhile, it has been gathered through PUNCH that the APC is insisting on Gbajabiamila who had lost the House of Representatives Speakership bid to Yakubu Dogara, to be made the Majority Leader of the house.
The APC has been reported to have zoned the position of Deputy House Leader to the South-South.
Findings reveal that the North-West lawmakers are opposed to the APC’s decision to anoint Gbajabiamila as the Majority Leader of the lower legislative chamber, as the North-West had already floated a candidate in the person of Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa for the position.
Be it as it may seem, The National Working Committee of the APC is to hold meeting in Abuja on Monday, June 22, 2015 to, among others, deliberate on peace proposals aimed at bringing an end to the crisis rocking the party.