NASS Election: Buhari backs APC, but says Saraki, Dogara’s emergence “Constitutional”

Muhammadu Buhari talking
President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the election of new leaders of the National Assembly, saying he supports those elected, yet he wished the party’s choices were respected.

The Senate on Tuesday elected Bukola Saraki as its president, defying the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, which had presented Ahmed Lawan as its preferred candidate.

In the same vein, the House of Representatives elected Yakubu Dogara, against the wish of the party for Femi Gbajabiamila to be elected speaker.

The APC has rejected the elections and has vowed to sanction members who disobeyed its directives.

In a somewhat ambiguous response, Mr. Buhari merely said he “noted the outcome of the just-concluded election of leaders of the National Assembly”.

A statement issued by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Femi Adesina, said the president would rather that the process of electing the leaders as initiated and concluded by the All Progressives Congress (APC) had been followed.

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Nonetheless, the president took the view that a constitutional process has somewhat occurred, the statement said.

“President Buhari had said in an earlier statement that he did not have any preferred candidate for the Senate and the House of Representatives, and that he was willing to work with whoever the lawmakers elected,” the statement said.

“That sentiment still stands. Though he would have preferred the new leaders to have emerged through the process established by the party”.

The statement said the stability of our constitutional order and overall interest of the common man were uppermost on the president’s mind, as far as the National Assembly elections were concerned.

The president called on all the elected representatives of the people to focus on the enormous task of bringing enduring positive change to the lives of Nigerians.

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