APC Senators ‘Unite’ at Saraki’s House
Not less than 50 APC senators from the 2 opposing factions – Unity forum and Like-Minded group – met at the Senate President, Bukola Saraki’s residents.
Reports have it that no less than 50 APC senators from the Unity Forum and the Like-minded group – the two opposing groups – attended a meeting at Saraki’s house.
While the Like-minded group led by Dino Melaye, the senator from Kogi west, supported the emergence of Saraki as senate president, the other group led by Barnabas Gemade opposed it.
Owing to this, there had been occasional “clashes” between the two groups at the upper legislative chamber.
Also, Saraki is facing criminal charges of forgery and false declaration of assets, which he believes are politically motivated, at a high court and at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
But Monday’s meeting showed that there might be a thaw in the frosty relationship.
“For the first time in the 15-month life of the eighth senate, All Progressives Congress (APC) senators held what can be called a successful unity caucus meeting in which members forgot their differences and discussed issues affecting Nigeria, the federal legislature and the fortune of their party,” the source said.
“The meeting, which lasted for two hours, was held at the private residence of the Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki and was attended by 50 senators from the two hitherto existing groups in the party.
“The meeting was held preparatory to the resumption of the red chamber of the federal legislature tomorrow Tuesday and took place about the same time the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators also had their own caucus meeting at another venue under the leadership of Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.
“What surprised many was the convivial atmosphere as Senators discussed freely and after the meeting exchanged jokes and engaged in banters and back-slapping.
During the meeting, the APC senators discussed the proposed debate on the economic recession, which will be spear-headed by the senate president during the Tuesday plenary and agreed that members should take leadership in the efforts to find solution to the economic crisis.
“They praised the efforts of the senate president in promoting unity among members and his decision to facilitate debates towards finding tangible solutions to the economic recession in the country.
“The senators also noted that by the end of next year, election issues will be very dominant in the polity and that there was need for the senate to fast-track debates and passage of key bills before the time when partisan engagements will divert the attention of senators.
“They agreed that they should persuade their colleagues to always endeavour to be prompt at plenary so that sitting would always commence early and that the senate should engage with the executive on the implementation of constituency projects as a way of spreading federal presence to the nooks and crannies of the country.
“Other issues discussed at the meeting include image and public perception of the National Assembly, need to hold the caucus meeting regularly and the need to be methodical in the work of the Senate.”