With A Stroke Of Luck And Ingenuity, APC May Have Avoided Another Saraki Episode

All appears to be panning out nice and fine for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on the issue of who takes up the National Assembly leadership.

At first wobbling and a little bit of over hammering, it had earlier seemed that the APC was possibly going to make the same mistake it made back in 2015.

But with recent actions coming in as master-strokes, the party may be rewriting its own future and very brilliantly as it were.

The Buhari Connection

Recall that just this Thursday, Buhari had done something he himself would have preferred not to do. And that was the wading into the contention on who gets to become the Senate President.

The situation just before then had been looking very shaky. With the duo of Ali Ndume and former governor of Borno State, Danjuma Goje sticking to their decision to contest the position with the anointed candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Ahmed Lawan. The situation indeed had looked grim.

If both men had gone ahead to stand for the election, two scenarios could have played out of which neither would have been in favour of the ruling party.

First, the entire APC vote would have been thinned out along the three men and this would have meant that Ahmed Lawan would have lost out thinly.

Secondly, the possibility of all 44 PDP Senator-elect voting en-masse for someone other than Ahmed Lawan would have been high and thus defeat the ruling party’s decision to have its own preferred man up there.

And so President’s Buhari’s move to wade into the scenario is both a brilliant and necessary one.

APC’s Next Brilliant Move

The next move that is looking like the party’s brilliant stroke with just a few days to the NASS election of principal officers is the endorsement of the Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial district, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as the next Deputy Senate President.

This came to light as the party’s South-South caucus endorsed him

The declaration confirmed a May 10 Punch report which stated that the national leadership of the party had settled for the senator and set machinery in motion for his emergence.

Senator Francis Alimikhena representing Edo North had also declared interest in the office. The APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, is from the same senatorial district.

The APC Vice-Chairman (South-South), Ntufam Hilliard Eta, and the Zonal Secretary, David Okumgba, in a statement made available on Saturday said the choice of Omo-Agege became imperative.

According to the statement issued regarding this and published by The Punch Newspapers, it said, “The leadership of the South-South Zone is fully in support of Mr President (Muhammadu Buhari).

“Our zone has been given the opportunity by our great Party to produce the Deputy Senate President for the Ninth National Assembly and we are thankful.

“It is important to state that our two illustrious sons, Distinguished Senators Francis Alimikhena from Edo State and Ovie Omo-Agege from Delta State had indicated interest to contest the office of the Deputy Senate President.

“Both of them are eminently qualified for that office as both are ranking Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“However, considering the current zoning of political offices in our zone whereby Edo State produced the current National Chairman of our great Party (Adams Oshiomhole), and other considerations, it became imperative that our zone supports the candidature of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege for the office of the Deputy Senate President.”

The statement hailed the party for zoning the position to the South-South and commended Oshiomhole for his sound administrative experience in piloting the affairs of the party.

“The Zonal Working Committee acting on behalf of the Zonal Executive Committee, Elders and Leaders of the South-South geopolitical zone of our great Party, the APC wishes to state categorically that we align ourselves with the decision of the national leadership of our great Party in respect of the zoning of the Principal offices of the 9th National Assembly.

“We commend our respected leader, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for his sterling leadership of the affairs of our great country and our illustrious son, His Excellency, Comrade Adams.

“The South-South geopolitical zone had demonstrated uncommon faith, courage, and vigour in the just concluded general elections by voting massively for candidates of our great Party at all levels.

“We implore all Distinguished Senators to please stand by us and support Senator Ovie Omo Agege for the position of Deputy Senate President.”

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