A series of initial missteps by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress shortly after the 2015 elections is the genesis of the internal crisis the party is currently grappling with, its chairman said on Wednesday.
John Odigie-Oyegun, who has led the APC since it was founded in 2013, said some unfinished businesses amongst political heavyweights who played a key role in the formation of the party, further compounded the situation the party now finds itself.
Mr. Odigie-Oyegun’s statement came when he received the leadership of the Senate in his office Wednesday afternoon.
“Unfortunately, it is clear, it is a public knowledge now that our very first steps when we came into office created problems and the very nature itself of the amalgamating parties created its own issues,” Mr. Odigie-Oyegun said.
But he offered no specifics about the nature of the problems.
One of such problems is the friction that emerged within the APC shortly after the National Assembly elected its principal officers on June 9, 2015.
The election produced Bukola Saraki, a returning Senator and former governor of Kwara State, as the President of the Senate while Yakubu Dogara emerged Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The two lawmakers clinched their respective posts despite intense lobby against them by the leadership of the APC which favoured other contenders.
The emergence of the two immediately paved way for several other principal officers to get coveted positions in the legislature, shattering a pre-election arrangement the party’s key blocs purportedly put in place for equitable distribution of government positions.
By September, barely three months after the election, Mr. Saraki was dragged before an anti-corruption tribunal over allegations that he failed to honestly declare his asset when he ran for governor in Kwara in 2003 and before joining the Senate in 2011.
Mr. Saraki denied the allegations and accused the leadership of the APC of being behind the plot to rubbish him for daring to actualise his political ambition to be Senate President.
All the problems have now piled up to “affect the mode of operations and the level of interactions between the various arms of government and the party,” Mr. Oyegun said.
Notwithstanding, the party remained steadfast in its quest to foster unity amongst its members and bring a lasting solution to the internal wrangling in order to provide the needed leadership for the citizens, he said.
“It is my hope that we will at the end of it all be able to present to the Nigerian public, a government, a party and a National Assembly that are working all in the same direction.
In his reaction, Senate President Bukola Saraki, who led the delegation, expressed optimism in the ability of the party to resolve the acrimony and begin speaking in one voice moving forward.
“We need to work closely together and we are hopeful that the new chapter is being opened today,” Mr. Saraki said.
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