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The All Progressives Congress has put in place strategies to ensure that
the President of the Senate, Bulola Saraki; and the Speaker of the
House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, do not influence the election
of presiding officers for the Ninth National Assembly, Akelicious has
learnt.

Our correspondent gathered that the national leadership
of the party and the preferred candidates for the positions of presiding
officers had arranged a series of meetings with members-elect to douse
apprehension.

It was learnt that President Muhammadu Buhari
had held Iftar (dinner for breaking of fasting) with members-elect as
part of the plans.

An APC chieftain told our correspondent that
the party would work hard to thwart whatever plans Saraki and Dogara had
against the emergence of its anointed candidates.

Akelicious had
reported that the APC leadership had endorsed Senators Ahmed Lawan and
Ovie Omo-Agege as the next President of the Senate and Deputy Senate
President, respectively.

It also reported that Mr Femi
Gbajabiamila and Ahmed Wase, had been anointed as Speaker and Deputy
Speaker respectively for the House of Representatives.

But a
member of the National Working Committee of the APC said party leaders
were aware of counter-moves by Dogara to frustrate the agenda of the
ruling party.

He said, “We are aware of clandestine meetings he
had been having with some members of the House of Representatives
against the wish of the APC.

“We are not surprised because he is
no longer our member; but we are watching keenly the activities of our
members who had been meeting with him.

“The agenda is for the party and everybody to respect party supremacy.”

Another
chieftain of the party, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the
party, was also monitoring developments in the Senate as some senators
in the opposition PDP had stepped up their game to cause disaffection
among the APC members, with Saraki at the background.

The APC National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said the party was not threatened by the influence of Saraki and Dogara.

He said, “I will advise we stop talking about Dr Saraki as far as the Ninth National Assembly is concerned.

“By
the time President Muhammadu Buhari will be inaugurating the Ninth
National Assembly, Saraki would have become a former member. So, he is
to us irrelevant to this discussion.

“Dogara would be a floor member and of the opposition party, so he has no role to play in deciding who rules for the majority.”

Saraki
and Dogara had emerged in 2015 as President of the Senate and Speaker
against the wish of the APC, which they then belonged.

Issa-Onilu, however, expressed confidence that the situation would be different this time.

He
said, “What happened in 2015 was a coup against the people of this
country. It was a very unpatriotic action. Our President told them
(members-elect) that much when they had Iftar(breaking of fasting) with
him.

“I can assure you that the party has done enough to ensure
that those that ran on our platform are loyal members who share in the
vision of the party, who understand that we have a mandate to save this
country from the PDP and their nefarious collaborators.

“They
also understand that it would be a betrayal of the President, the party,
and indeed, majority of electorate to work for those who the people
rejected at the polls.”

Source:- Punchng

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