Senators-elect on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have threatened a showdown for the party on June 13 during the election of National Assembly principal officers in protest of the party’s controversial micro-zoning of the offices.
Meanwhile, a rattled National Chairman of APC, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, has admitted error in the decision of the National Working Committee (NWC) in nominating principal officers without a
“sufficient or adequate consultations.”
Persecondnews recalls that Ondo Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and others including seven speakership candidates have kicked against the zoning arrangement.
On Thursday, Senate Chief Whip and former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, had led some contestants for the office of Senate President, including former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari and Senator Sani Musa, to the National Secretariat of the party to present a joint petition to the party’s leadership.
Describing the zoning arrangement as undemocratic, the senators warned that the party was setting a stage for members to revolt at the floor of the chambers on June 13 when the National Assembly would be inaugurated and election of officers conducted.
Kalu said: So, we are going to challenge it. We are going to say NO to it. I am a party man, I am a believer in the party and I have never disobeyed this party. This is first time we are going to say no to directive of the party.
“We are going to say that we are not going to do this in the floor of the Senate. It is still early enough, about 18 to 19 days to resolve it. It will be better that the party returns to the drawing board, deliberate and call a consultative meeting.
“You have to review the zoning arrangement and correct micro-zoning the positions to individuals. It must be done by zone not name because it contradicts all the relevant sections of the (APC) Constitution.
“What I want to say is that the country needs to live in peace. We need to live as people that have worked together for many years. And in doing this, vote should not count on what you get most times. Enmity should not also count in what one gets most times.
“The current vice president of America, Lady Kamala Harris, used to abuse President Biden. They were opponents, but today, they have found themselves in the same boat, they are living peacefully, they are showing maturity.
“President Obasanjo became president with votes from other Nigerians other than his constituency. So, what I am saying is vote should not be the right measurement because what you did not do today, you can do tomorrow.
“We had a hurricane in our zone that nobody could have stopped it. President Buhari had 29.9 per cent in Abia in 2019. He had 68.7 per cent in Abia North senatorial district. We are still very proud of what we did to him. I insist that vote must not count because we need one another.
“The binding of one another is more important than vote cast. Yes, vote cast is important to help the party win. But the party has won and we need peace and everybody on board.
“We cannot only count our success by vote, after all, in our zone, we used to be only two or three senators but today we are about six or seven APC senators from the zone.
“We all know that there was a presidential candidate from the South East and the entire people from the area took a decision. But it is not only in the South East that this happened, every part of the country had problem of voting.”
Responding to the threats of the senators, APC Chairman Adamu appealed to the aspirants to “hold their fire” and allow the party leadership undertake more consultations.
“We are happy to receive you and hear you express your displeasure for what we have done. As chairman of the APC and members of the NWC, we take responsibility. As chairman, I take responsibility for what has gone on air.
“I take absolute responsibility for that. And in that spirit, I welcome you to this office on behalf of my colleagues.
“On Wednesday, we received members of the lower chamber who are also contesting for the Speakership in the lower chamber and we had similar pronouncements – words of disagreement from them.
“What we will not do today from what we have received from you is to start to open any discussion with you at this sitting as to how what you heard got to be what you heard.
“Yes, there was no sufficient or adequate consultations with you that are contesting and it is a simple principle of democracy that you get views and opinions. But, the circumstances that we found ourselves in after the elections frustrated our desire,” he said.
Adamu added: “We will go back to the drawing board. We owe our party that duty to take a look whether what was done cannot be changed. What was done needs some changes or reviews.
“We will take a look at what necessary compelled us to do by the grace of God.
Hold the fire until the last word is heard from us. We are the custodians of the party as NWC but we are not acting alone.
“The voice of the President-elect is an essential voice. We must accommodate him, the best we can. I will not compromise on that.”