But the biggest test of the order is expected to come from the House which has the numerical strength.
Facing one of its biggest threats from an opposition party yet at the National Assembly, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Monday rallied support from smaller parties, to neutralise the growing influence of the All Progressive Congress, APC, and the party’s specific threat to block key proposals from the executive.
The PDP teamed with the Labour Party, the All Progressive Grand Alliance and Accord Party, and declared its preparedness to confront the APC over its plans. The four parties named an alliance called the National Unity Group.
A directive handed by the APC leadership last week, mandates its members in the Senate and the House of Representatives to thwart the passage of the 2014 budget, the confirmation of ministerial nominees and the approval of the nomination of new military chiefs.
The APC, which currently has more members than the PDP in House, said the measure will be in protest of the failure of the President Goodluck Jonathan-led executive to curtail the crisis in Rivers State where Governor Chibuike Amaechi and the police commissioner there appear to run parallel administrations.
While APC federal lawmakers have expressed their willingness to abide by the party’s directive, at least seven senators on Monday took part in the screening of new military chiefs.
At a media briefing on Monday, Bitrus Kaze, a PDP member from Plateau State, who read the text of the briefing, said the group was resolved to act against anarchy, “as being fomented by the newly-registered APC.”
The group said “That any attempt to tamper with the 2014 budget and hence the Transformation Agenda of the Jonathan administration, will be met with robust resistance.”
But speaking to PREMIUM TIMES Monday, the Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the APC lawmakers were determined to push ahead with the party’s instructions.
“We see a basis for complying with the directive,” Mr. Gbajabiamila said Monday night. “It is legitimate to call the government of the day to order. Those who are criticising it are PDP apologists. They don’t see what we see. We’re ready because this is a new beginning. We will see how it goes.
“I cannot tell now how we are going to do it, but we will meet to decide on how to go about it tomorrow. I mean APC Caucus will meet Tuesday morning and decide what happens next. We will sit down and we will review the situation as we go along.”