Senate Principal Officers: APC Kicks, Denies Akpabio’s List

  • Disowns Bamidele, Ndume, Umahi
  • Akpabio claims selection by consensus

BY SEGUN ADEBAYO – The Senate Presidency of Senator Godswill Akpabio ran into stormy waters on Tuesday as his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) denied endorsing any list of principal officers for either Chambers of the National Assembly (NASS).

National Chairman of the ruling party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, pointedly said there is no such endorsement of Senate principal officers by the APC’s Leadership as announced by the Senate President.

Speaking when the APC National Working Committee (NWC) met with the Progressives Governors Forum (PHF) in Abuja at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja, Adamu said there was no consultations with the APC’s Leadership before making the announcement on the Majority Caucus leadership.

He informed the governors that since the ruling party has not officially communicated its preferred choices of principal officers of the National Assembly, he is not in the know how the names being flaunted emerged as the principal officers.

Senator Adamu further 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 to 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 day 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 by the President of the Senate, Deputy Senate President, Speaker or Deputy Speaker, is not from this Secretariat.”

On the meeting, the APC Chairman told the Governors that the Party’s caucus is now reconstituted to fill the vacuum that has existed over the years.

According to him, the caucus was been reconstituted in line with the APC constitution, adding; “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 your hands 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 (PGF) 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 and 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.”

Earlier in the day, Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, had announced four principal officers for the majority party in the 10th Senate.

He listed Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC), representing Ekiti Central as the Senate Majority leader with former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume (APC), representing Borno South Senatorial district emerging as the Chief Whip.

Senator Akpabio also announced Senator Dave Umahi (APC), representing Ebonyi South, as the Deputy Leader with Senator Lola Ashiru (APC), Kwara South as the Deputy Whip.

Before the latest controversy, the Senate President had claimed that the choice of the principal officers was by consensus.

With the worrying signals from the APC hierarchy, political watchers are now keeping their fingers cross on how the ruling party weather the storm for the National Assembly to formally enter into the right gear for its legislative business.

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