There are allegations that the All Progressives Congress (APC) may introduce sanctions against Atiku Abubakar, the former vice-president of Nigeria, and Aminu Tambuwal, the governor of Sokoto state, over the outcome of the National Assembly elections.
According to sources within the APC, Atiku allegedly colluded with Senator Bukola Saraki to undermine the will of the party. Meanwhile, Tambuwal, who is the immediate past of speaker of the House of Representatives, supported Yakubu Dogara who emerged as Tambuwal’s successor.
The Punch reports that the suspicion of the APC leadership was reignited when after emerging as the head of the Senate Saraki paid a visit to Atiku, apparently to thank him.
Another source within the party, who pleaded for anonymity, revealed that the APC was aware of moves by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to secure key positions in the National Assembly. That was why the party chose Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila as its candidates for Senate president and speaker respectively.
“We started keeping tabs on Atiku in January when he showed that he was not interested in the success of President Muhammadu Buhari, when Buhari was our presidential candidate. Our fears were reignited when the then President Goodluck Jonathan paid Atiku a visit shortly before the elections.
“A large section of Atiku’s supporters defected to the PDP a day after that meeting with Jonathan and that was why Jonathan’s special adviser on political Aaffairs, Rufai Alkali, said shortly after that meeting that Atiku would soon return to the PDP. Atiku even admitted himself that he did not attend Buhari’s rallies.
“Don’t you find it curious that the first person that Saraki visited after emerging as Senate President was Atiku? We have information that Atiku told his supporters in the Senate to vote for Saraki and that was what happened. We know that Atiku is still nursing a presidential ambition for 2019 and he is now beginning to build blocks,” the source said.
The source further stated that the APC had evidence that Tambuwal supported Dogara so that he (Tambuwal) could retain influence over the lower chamber of the National Assembly.
“Tambuwal is also nursing a presidential ambition and needs to retain control over the House. He will not be able to retain such influence if Gbajabiamila is the Speaker,” he added.
When contacted, Mallam Imam Imam, the media aide to Tambuwal, declined to comment over the allegations.
Meanwhile, the APC in Lagos state has called on the national leadership to punish Saraki and Dogara.
In a statement the party said that it was a sad development that the Senate president could jump into bed with the PDP in his desperation for power.