The national publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Lai Mohammed has said that the party will follow due process in punishing Senate President, Bukola Saraki, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and alllies for defying its directive on the election of the National Assembly leadership.
Speaking after an emergency National Working Committee meeting of the APC in Abuja,the spokeman said party had not made a U-turn on position topunish the green chamber leaders adding that “sanctions would follow due process.”
Earlier today it was reported that President Buhari had intervened in the crisis the election of Saraki and Dogara on Tuesday had generated.
Speaking to Channels TV on Tuesday, Mohammed said, ‘‘The APC leadership is meeting in a bid to reestablish discipline in the party and to mete out the necessary sanctions to all those involved in what is nothing but a monumental act of indiscipline and betrayal to subject the party to ridicule and create obstacles for the new administration.’’
Mohammed said Saraki, Dogara and other erring party members will be notified of their offences and given the chance to respond.
The spokesman said the NWC meeting,was attended by“senators that wanted to confer with the party leadership; they came to confer on the crisis in the National Assembly.”
On APC senators contesting Saraki and Dogara's victory, he said, “I think the party made its expression clear on the matter, that it is unhappy with the outcome of the election and I think we won’t say anything beyond that.
“What the senators will do is within their capability and rights.”
Punch gathered that Saraki had planned a visit to the APC leadership in Thursday but changed his movements when he learnt the Senate Unity Forum were in a meeting with the NWC.
Mohammed denied knowledge of any planned visit.
“I’m not aware, probably if you wait you will see him.”
It was learnt that the APC leadership also met members of the House of Representatives members on Thursday in a bid to ease the tension in the house caused by Saraki and Dogara's election led by Gbajabiamila and Mungono.
A reps member Sani Zoro, said the meeting was planned to find a solution to the national assmebly crisis adding that the the presidency, national assembly and APC leadership will be brought together to end the situation.
He said, “The solutions that are being worked out by the party, the Presidency and the National Assembly are being triangulated.
“I can assure you that it will accommodate all the concerns and fears and at the end of it, it will provide a single template that all will key into. All that has happened is in the past because we have to defend the government that we have put in place, war cannot be the solution.”
“Measures have been agreed upon that will deescalate the crisis. I assure you that those who are the masterminds of the crisis who thought they are going to benefit politically from it will be surprised.”
Zorro said the APC will be within its rights to punish Saraki, Dogara and their allies.
The tension in the national assembly was caused by the election of Saraki and Dogara as against the party's ish to have Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila emerge candidates for the Senate Presidency and House speakership.
APC conducted mock elections and Lawan and Gbajabiamila were touted to become the National Assembly leaders.
But Saraki and Dogara went against party directives, contested and won with the support of opposition Peoples Democratic Party lawmakers.
In the Senate, PDP member, Ike Ekweremadu, retained his post as Deputy Senate President.
Ekweremadu defeated an APC Senator, Ali Ndume, who also defied the party’s directive by contesting. The APC anointed candidate for the post was Mohammed Mungono.