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?* May present Gbajabiamila as House Leader* Saraki consolidates, gains more Senators

The All Progressives Party (APC) is launching a new offensive to regain control of the two chambers of the National Assembly, the Daily Times has learnt.?The new plans are to enable the governing party make up for the loss it suffered in the lawmaking arm against to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which saw APC candidates losing in the bid for Senate President and House of Representatives Speaker despite having majority legislators.Daily Times can report that a caucus of APC officials, chaired by APC?s National Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun rose from a meeting yesterday (Thursday) with a resolve to regain the leadership of both legislative chambers.?Senator Bukola Saraki who was backed by the PDP emerged as Senate President while the opposition party?s member Ike Ekweremadu became Deputy Senate President in what could be described as a democratic coup.Also, Yakubu Dogara who was supported by the PDP trounced APC?s preferred candidate for House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila.At yesterday?s meeting, the APC leaders resolved to ensure that Gbajabiamila emerges as House Leader, the party being in the majority.

Although it is not certain who among the APC Senators the party will present to contest the Senate?s leadership position, indications are rife that the leadership was already in touch with President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue.Party officials in separate chats with our correspondents disclosed that having fallen flat to intrigues during contest for the National Assembly?s top positions, the APC is now learning to tread cautiously on parliamentary issues.?This is coming against the background that the Senate President made some political gains over the past few hours as more Senators, hitherto in opposition to his leadership had crossed to his side.?It was learnt last night that at a meeting of APC top shots after the results of the National Assembly leadership contests were announced, party top shots admitted some lapses and pledged to make amends.

The most aggrieved party in APC on the situation in the National Assembly is that of Senator Bola Tinubu, believed to have been the source of strength of Senator Ahmed Lawan and Hon. Gbajabiamila, both of whom lost out in power game in the lawmaking arm of government.?The anti-Tinubu sentiment in APC is said to have been responsible for the losses suffered by Lawan and Gbajabiamila in the race for National Assembly leadership.?More APC members, in particular, supporters of General Buhari and those of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar were resolute that Tinubu should be caught to size in his alleged desire to control the National Assembly, since he allegedly has the structure of the party and the Vice Presidency of Nigeria under control.

Tinubu is believed to have installed most of the top officials of APC, while more party members are believe that he was attempting to use the party to also gain a hold on the National Assembly.?A Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Senator Shehu Sani expressed worry on the delicate power balance in the National Assembly with Senators from the PDP being the ultimate beneficiary.?He said the nature of power composition in the Senate had shown clearly that the APC had not been able to put its house in order.?According to him, the turn of events in the National Assembly is a clear reflection of deep-seated crises within APC.?He said APC slipped by allowing the opposition to gain foothold in the power game in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.?The PDP, he averred, never deserved such a huge consideration and privilege.According to him, all through the 16 years of the PDP being at the helm, it never deemed it fit to concede an inch of opportunity for the opposition to share power with it at any level of governance.

Former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Obot Akpabio, now a Senator, echoed the comfort of the PDP in the Senate when he told newsmen in Abuja on Thursday that PDP his party would henceforth endeavour to make the chamber more comfortable for APC members.?He said PDP had only proved that it had the mastery of politics and had only shown the APC a little of it.?The former Governor added that the PDP would make things easy for the APC in the Senate in the interest of peace and good governance.?Akpabio lauded President Buhari for accepting the leadership of Saraki and Dogara, stressing that the action had shown that the President is truly a leader.?However, Senator Shehu Sani who said APC had suddenly found itself in a delicate condition with the PDP?s influence, would look up to the President for solution.?The President, according to him, has the option of embracing Saraki?s leadership and committing Senators of APC to working with him in harmony, or calling a meeting of the party to start a process of restrategising on regaining the grounds lost to the opposition party

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