APC’s National Leader Bola Tinubu has relocated to Abuja as the ninth National Assembly prepares for election of its principals officers in both houses in four days’ time.
The National Daily also gathered that all the APC governors and their PDP counterparts have converged on the FCT.
The battle is largely within the majority party. The fear of damage the non-conformists contending against the party’s candidates for the principal offices could do might have driven the party leaders into the last-minute frenzy.
So the APC is not willing to leave things to chances this ninth assembly.
In 2015, the PDP lawmakers aligned with the APC radicals in the NASS, and their ringleaders eventually clinched the Senate presidency and House Speakership.
The ruling party thereafter became its own opposition. Many of the party leaders believed Sen. President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Dogara worked against their party.
“Just look at the way Saraki, Dogara and their ilk hijacked the budget process these past four years,” Tinubu said in a statement released by Tunde Rahman, his spokesman, in April. That was about the time preparation began for the ninth assembly’s leadership election.
To head off a repeat of the 2015 experience, the ruling party has endorsed Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan and his counterpart in the lower house Femi Gbajabiamila as Senate president and Speaker respectively.
But the endorsement didn’t go down well with some of the federal lawmakers.
Sen. Ali Ndume and Sen. Danjuma Goje , both APC, decided to contest the Senate presidency, too–until yesterday when Goje stepped down for Lawan.
Ndume is still not surrendering.
Gbajabiamila has not been having it smooth either, despite the support he has garnered from many of the reps-elect. Apart from legal tussles he has to grapple with, the majority leader has rivals in fellow partymen like Hon. Mohammadu Bago, a representative of Chanchagi Federal Constituency of Niger State, North-Central, and Hon. Nkiru Onyechiocha from the southeast.
Bago has particularly been hard-headed. Despite the rumoured endorsement of Gbajabiamila by President Muhammadu Buhari, he has refused to back down or respect the president’s choice.
Ndume, Bago, Nkiru, and others have thus become the wild cards that could spring surprises by working with the opposition.
While Tinubu claims his effort in the emergence and endorsement of Lawan and Gbajabiamila is in support of Buhari’s decision, many believe he has a lot at stakes.