Barely 4 days to the much awaited proclamation of the 10th National Assembly by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, there were strong indications yesterday that the controversial endorsement of Sen. Godswill Akpabio and Hon Tajudeen Abass as Senate President and House of Representatives Speaker respectively by the National Working Committee NWC of the All Progressives Congress APC has his the brick wall, Hotmedia.ng reported.
During a meeting yesterday at the villa it became apparently clear that the party has jettisoned the initial zoning arrangements when President Bola Tinubu tactically declined to unveil the former Akwa Ibom Governor, Akpabio and Abass as the anointed candidates of the party for the positions.
A source told Vanguard yesterday that at a meeting called by President Tinubu between, APC Senators- elect and members of the House of Representatives at the Presidential villa where the President ought to have announced that Akpabio and Abass as the candidates of the party, he did not do that throughout the few minutes he spoke, thereby causing some areas of concerns among party members and Stakeholders of the party.
According to the source, the National Chairman of APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu who would have used the opportunity to mention the names of Akpabio and Abass did not do that.
The APC National Chairman who was said to have spoken for less than two minutes, thanked the law makers- elect for coming, even as he announced that the meeting was at the instance of the President. He asked them to listen to him please.
The source said that the Speaker, House of Representatives and the new Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila was neither here nor there, just as the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan was same.
The expectations of law makers that that President Tinubu would ice the cake was even more misplaced
The source said,; “This whole thing has become very confusing to most of us honestly. All the noise about Tinubu’s endorsement of Abbas and Akpabio we thought was going to be capped this evening when the president met us for the first time since his swearing in.
“You can imagine that even that of Representatives speaker that we thought is almost settled for Abbass is still cloudy. We had the feeling that the G-6 has been been broken, especially after the president met with the group. Wht stopped him from announcing that to the Reps, even if ours in the senate looks more dicey?
“Mind you, most of us are just following some candidates, they were waiting for the President to say it by himself, but now that he is evasive, it is not clear to us at all.
“We were just APC and the meeting is in-house, a family one, and that is the most appropriate place to say, guys, this is my thinking but nothing happened in that regard means a lot especially when we observed that only about 23 of us were there as APC senators. Kalu, Yari and over 30 did not turn to attend the meeting.
I know there is still time to salvage the situation.
“What surprised some of us is that prior to the meeting with us, some of us knew that the Presidency had put in place a machinerty to avert the emergence of two Northerners as Presiding officera of both Chambers.
“And to achieve this, I think they are trying to ensure that the two elections take place at the same time so that even if Yari wins, Abbass will not be shut out at the green chamber. But there is a lot to be done if we want to be sincere.
“We kmow of course, that if Yari eventually wins, the Gbajabiamila group is planning to quickly nominate Professor Julius Ihonvbere as possible speaker so that South South will not lose out because from the look of things, the Yari and Kalu alliance is heavily supported by majority of retired northern generals
On what Tinubu said at the meeting, the source said that Tinubu told the lawmakers thus, ” let’s think Nigeria, think about the Nigeroan project which is the larger project because it’s by the Grace of God that brought us all together here.
“We are the majority party and we should not allow our internal bickering to erode our chances. Give whatever is needful as concessions to the opposition and hold on to the principal or presiding offices. We have only one seat for Senate President, one seat for speaker. Only one person can be on each. The elephant is big enough, it now depends on iow you slice it. Make consensus amongst yourselves and build national cohesion, national consensus.”