In what seems a division in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the leadership of the party has strongly disagreed with Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives over their choice of principal officers in the bicameral legislature.
The APC distanced itself from reports that the Senate President Godswill Akpabio and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas have both appointed principal officers as announced on Tuesday.
Abdullahi Adamu, national chairman of the party, debunked the said endorsement of Senate principal officers during a meeting between the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party and governors elected on the party’s platform, held at the NWC Hall of the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
The meeting, it was gathered, was to discuss critical issues bordering on the forthcoming National Caucus and National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings billed to hold on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
Adamu told the governors that the party was yet to officially communicate its preferred choices of principal officers of the National Assembly.
In his opening remarks, Adamu said: “You will get an update of the National Election in the national assembly sharing of powers particularly the leadership of the chambers; the election of the principal officers of the Senate by the Senate President and Deputy Senate President; the election of the speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives have been determined and announced and their responsibilities.
“The remaining offices will be determined by the two chambers is yet to be done. I had a courtesy call on Saturday from the President of the Senate and his Deputy. The following which was Sunday, I received the visit by the Speaker and his Deputy Speaker coming to me for Sallah’s homage.”
“But, I am just hearing as a rumour now from the online media that there have been some announcements in the Senate and House of Representatives. The national headquarters of the party of the NWC has not given any such information or communicated about the choice of offices.
“And until we formally resolve and communicate with them in writing which is the norm and practice, it is not our intention to break away from traditions. So whatever announcement is done either the President of the Senate, Deputy Senate President, Speaker or Deputy Speaker, is not from this secretariat.”
According to him, “We are going to formally inform you that we are going to have a caucus, and for quite a time, there has been no caucus in place. The caucus has been reconstituted according to the constitution of APC. And we will be discussing that with you as governors, you know your states more than we know it. Even if we come from the same state, the leadership is in you as governors.
“We will hear your advice and then see how we can ensure that we comply with the provisions of the constitution of the party. We hope that we will be receiving some reports from the Progressive Governors Forum, NGF, Chairman, or his representative, to get to know about your feelings and what is going on.
“And what is your thinking on what to do to improve the chances of the party and therefore reduce the problems and bickering that we have been hearing from time to time? Then we will have time by the grace of God permitting, we will have interactions.
“Along with the caucus, the National Advisory Council will give you the list that has been prepared and make sure that every state is represented. And we will give you the knowledge of it and advice. You will also be given the benefits of all the detailed accounts from April 2022 to April 2023. The PCC account has been audited and it has been submitted to the INEC by the party.”