Journalism of Courage

APC Senate caucus disarray deepens as Saraki group plots to influence emergence of new Senate leadership

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Senate caucus appeared to be in disarray Sunday over a looming plot by the outgoing Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to influence the emergence of a new Senate leadership when the 9th Senate is inaugurated in June, this year.

Saraki, according to  sources familiar with the matter, is working on a fall-back position, having lost his re-election bid for the Kwara Central Senatorial seat.

It was learnt that Saraki, who leads an influential group in the Senate, comprising principally PDP senators and some members of the APC caucus who crave his influence to win the support of the PDP caucus, is working on the 2015 template with which he emerged as Senate President with the candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus, Ike Ekweremadu, as Deputy Senate President.

There is anxiety in the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senate caucus over alleged moves by Saraki who is believed to be working with two APC governors who will be coming to the Senate in June.

The governors are believed to be planning to instigate a rebellion against the Oshiomhole led party leadership.

The group, as gathered, met last week at the Maitama residence of Senator Saraki where 35 PDP senators-elect resolved to influence the emergence of a new Senate leadership.

The group, according to sources, was interested in retaining the position of Deputy Senate President.

The group was said to have come up with Plans “A”, “B” and “C”, preparatory to the horse-trading that is expected to characterise the race for the position of Senate President.

The group’s plan A, as learnt, is to sponsor one of them for the position of Senate President in the event two or more members of the APC caucus present themselves for the position on the floor of the Senate.

If it becomes difficult for the group to activate plan “A”, it was agreed that it should support Senator Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe in North East) who, according to members of the group, was more amenable; and, they believe that with him, they could nick the position of Deputy Senate President.

The National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) will be inaugurated consequent upon the issuance of a signed proclamation by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Largely unsettled by the plot by the Saraki group, members of the APC caucuses in the National Assembly and in the party’s hierarchy in Abuja are now inclined to deliberately cede all presiding and principal officers’ positions in the Senate and House of Representatives to zones where they could accommodate and endorse predetermined party and president’s loyalists for election/selection.

A source hinted that the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) had already been activated to mobilise concerned state governors and leading party stalwarts to ensure that the leaderships of both chambers comprise identified loyalists.

” APC will deal decisively with any erring Senate or House of Representative member who allows himself to be used by the opposition party in an attempt to produce the leadership of the senate and House of Reps, said Hon Jubrin Abdulmumi, over the week-end after meeting with the President.

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