- Senator Abba Ali has okayed the APC’s decision to adopt leaders of the incoming 9th National Assembly
- The Second Republic lawmaker and a Board of Trustees (BoT) member of the party, said the decision is final
- He urged party members to shy away from personal interest and look at the national and party’s interest in the whole process
Second Republic lawmaker and a Board of Trustees (BoT) member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abba Ali has okayed the party’s decision to adopt leaders of the incoming 9th National Assembly.
In a chat with Vanguard, Senator Ali said the party has the final say on the persons to occupy the Senate presidency and Speakership seats. He urged party members to shy away from personal interest and look at the national and party’s interest in the whole process.
The APC had adopted of Senator Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North) for Senate president and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (Lagos) for the Speakership by the party leadership.
On some APC lawmakers insisting on running despite the party’s position, he said the ongoing division is normal and expected, but added that the issue is a family affair that would be resolved amicably.
His words: “In any political setting, this is normal. You will find that people are divided simply because they need positions. But under normal circumstances, the party is supreme. The party provided the platform on which the members stood to be elected - be it, Senate or House of Representatives or State House of Assembly. So the party has a final say.
“This is an internal affair of the party so it is only natural that you find that the choice of the party is not the choice of others; and in a democratic setting, everybody has a say. But the final say is the party’s because they didn’t stand the election on their own or in their name but under the umbrella of the party. So I am not surprised, it is normal, and I am sure it will be sorted out.”
He allayed fears that the rift if not resolved, it will lead to a repeat of the 2015 scenario, saying what is obtainable at the moment is different from that of 2015.
He said: “It is totally different. Now, we have majority in the both houses. Before, the majority is one or two and again, when we came in 2015, it was amalgamation of parties which formed the APC and they still had that feelings of belonging to one of the three parties. But now that everything has stabilised, we are no more talking about other parties, it is one party.
“So the party controlling should nominate whoever they want to lead them in the houses. Even the zoning arrangement is the party’s affair and it has started this process on time. If you remember, in 2015, the party and executive left it until they were in the National Assembly and after their swearing in. So we have plenty of time now to resolve the factions.
“I am sure it will be sorted out. I have no doubt that they are going to resolve this. To me, this is a normal thing in politics. For an outsider, you may think that there would be crisis in this. They are all members of the same house, same family, I am telling you that it will be resolved amicably.
“My suggestion is if we want to move forward, we should shy away from personal interest and look at national and party interest because as an individual, you cannot run a party or take a decision on behalf of the party. Loyalty is key. One should be loyal to the party, and government and that will make us move forward and move the country in the right direction.”
Meanwhile, there are indications that President Muhammadu Buhari may hold a frank meeting with two of the three aspirants for Senate president - Senator Danjuma Goje and Senator Ali Ndume - on the adoption of Senator Lawan for the office.
The president decided to intervene in the matter to avoid APC going into the battle as a divided house and to ensure the ruling party presents a lone candidate for the job.
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