Following the impasse over the reconciliatory measures proposed by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to end the rift among its lawmakers, governors elected on the party’s platform will today hold crucial talks with the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC.
The meeting, which is meant to explore ways of bringing the warring parties in the National Assembly to accept the party’s peace option, is at the instance of the governors.
It was gathered that the meeting with the governors is one in a series of interventions by key party stakeholders to try to resolve the crisis within the ranks of APC lawmakers, which is now threatening to creep into the party hierarchy.
Trouble in the party started when Senator Ahmed Lawan and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who were APC’s choice of candidates for the posts of Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively, lost to Senator Bukola Saraki and Hon. Yakubu Dogara during the election held to choose the leadership of the federal legislature.
The loss by APC’s anointed candidates was linked to the defiance and collaboration between some members of the ruling party and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the National Assembly.
As part of its reconciliatory efforts, the APC leadership, through its NWC, initiated peace measures using the remaining principal offices in the legislature as bargaining chips to try and compensate its aggrieved lawmakers.
The party had proposed to cede the remaining key positions of the Senate Leader to Senator Lawan while Gbajabiamila was to get the House Majority Leadership post.
However, the proposal ran into a brick wall when the group loyal to Senator Saraki stoutly opposed the idea, insisting that the National Assembly zonal caucuses of the party should determine who should get the posts.
The APC governors under the auspices of the Progressives Governors’ Forum had met in the wake of the crisis in the federal legislature and offered to intervene to help resolve the logjam.
Imo State Governor and chairman of the forum, Chief Rochas Okorocha, while addressing journalists after its recent meeting in Abuja, said the forum would wade into the crisis trailing the election of the new leaders of the two chambers of the National Assembly.
“We also have congratulated the leadership of the National Assembly. We are aware that the process attracted a lot of disagreements here and there. We, the governors of the party, have resolved to embark on a peace process to make sure that we return as members of one family we have always been.
“We have also discussed how to strengthen our party. This is the party that brought change and that change must stand. We will make the party meet the desires of our great members. We are ensuring Nigerians that we will remain focused and address some of the issues,” he said.