The national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and others party leaders have been on surveillance in the past 72 hours on what the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) game would turn out to be in the race for the senate president and Speaker of the House of Representatives for the Ninth National Assembly. They had earlier adopted persuasive model of overtures and political simulation to induce the lawmakers of the leading opposition PDP to support the APC anointed candidates, Senator Ahmad Lawan for senate president and Femi Gbajabiamila for House Speaker. Reports in the past 24 hours indicate that millions of dollars were deployed to the National Assembly to ‘buy’ the conscience of the federal lawmakers in the election of the presiding officers of the National Assembly.
The party had not only attempted to impose open voting for the National Assembly internal election, but also, went the through the court to impose open voting system on the federal lawmakers. However, the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances do not permit the judiciary or executive to interfere with the internal workings of the legislature.
The party leadership had previously threatened to use the big stick on any APC lawmaker who would vote contrary to the party decision to impose the anointed candidates on the National Assembly. Open balloting would expose the lawmakers to intimidation and victimization.
Meanwhile, APC national leader, Tinubu, and other party leaders were said to have held all-night meeting after the PDP had endorsed Ali Ndume for Senate President andUmar Mohammed Bago for Speaker of House of Representatives in Tuesday’s election in the federal legislature.
The ruling party leaders have devised mechanism of monitoring APC lawmakers in the National Assembly while they vote in the election. Last minute appeals were also said to be made to the party lawmakers.
However, APC leaders were said to be highly jittery considering the statistics of the representation of the parties in the legislature. A major source of tension is that though the APC has majority members, but PDP has 44 senators, for instance, and need additional 11 senators to have 55 senators and urn the table against APC anointed candidate, Lawan, in the 109 senators. The winner will emerge through simple majority. However, APC leaders are also expecting that few votes will drop from the PDP. This is where more funds was said to have been devoted in the past few hours; at least five senators away from the PDP could make the day easy for the APC in the senate.