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Presidency, governors back Bamidele, Ndume, Umahi

The Presidency and All Progressives Congress (APC) governors are in support of the principal officers of the Senate and House of Representatives announced yesterday, it was learnt.



Adamu had chided the presiding officers for announcing the names of principal officers without getting clearance from him.



Those announced are Senate Leader Opeyemi Bamidele, Deputy Leader David Umahi, Chief Whip Ali Ndume, Deputy Whip Lola Ashiru, Minority Leader Simon Mwadkwon, Deputy Minority Leader  Oyewunmi Olalere, Minority Chief Whip Darlington Nwokeocha and Deputy Minority Whip Rufai Hamga.



For the House of Representatives: House Leader Julius Ihonvbere, Deputy House Leader Abdullahi Halims, Chief Whip Usman Kumo, Deputy Whip Adewunmi Onanuga,


Minority House Leader Kingsley Chinda, Deputy House Leader Ali Madaki, Minority House Chief Whip Ali Isa and Deputy Whip George Ozodinobi.



It was also learnt that the National Assembly may present its principal officers to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu today at the Aso Villa.


Investigation showed that the Senate leadership presented the list of principal officers to Adamu on Sunday for his support during a meeting with him on his farm in his hometown Keffi, Nasarawa State.



But his alleged delay in sending a notice to the National Assembly on the list of principal officers created tension.



It was gathered that for more than five hours on Monday, Senators and members of the House of Representatives were awaiting Adamu’s return to sign a notification letter to the National Assembly.


It was further learnt that when the party’s national chairman was footdragging, the APC caucuses in the two chambers proceeded to announce its list of consensus principal officers at plenary yesterday.


Adamu was, however, angry because the Senate President Godswill Akpabio and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abass did not wait for him to sign an official letter on the lawmakers’ choices.



A top source said: “The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House consulted widely. The governors and respected party leaders were involved in designing the power-sharing formula.


“After building consensus, the Senate President on Sunday led the new principal officers to Keffi for Adamu’s information and blessing.



“We still have the evidence of the photos taken on the farm. We do not know where Adamu was coming from in criticising the decision at the secretariat yesterday when he had the opportunity to raise objections with the leadership of the 10th National Assembly. He didn’t make any observations on Sunday.


“The slow process of notifying the National Assembly resulted in suspicion and tension. The APC National Secretary Sen. Iyiola Omisore on Monday signed the notice to the lawmakers but the letter couldn’t be forwarded because Adamu was yet to counter-sign.



“To prevent the opposition from presenting its list of officers ahead of APC, the Senate and the House leadership opted to act faster by unveiling the principal officers.


“Adamu believed the National Assembly ought to respect him and work at his pace.”


Adamu was on his own because the National Assembly had gone far in selecting its principal officers.


It was confirmed that the presidency, APC governors and some party leaders participated actively in arriving at a “win-win” formula.



Another top source added: “The National Assembly has the backing of the Presidency and the Progressives Governors Forum on the harmonised list of principal officers.


“The APC caucuses in the National Assembly amicably agreed on the list of the principal officers and no one can stop it.


“Even when there were issues with Sen. Ali Ndume as the second-ranking Senator after Dr. Ahmad Lawan, Senators prevailed on the Borno South Senator to accept to serve under Sen. Bamidele. Ndume bowed to pressure and accepted to be Senate Chief Whip.


“As the party’s national chairman, Adamu cannot overrule the decision of the APC caucuses in the Senate and the House of Representatives. There is no provision in the APC Constitution giving him such power.”


On the way forward, the source added: “The National Assembly has resolved to present its new principal officers to President Tinubu on Wednesday (today).



“Adamu complained of inadequate communication but he shouldn’t have gone to the extent of overruling the National Assembly in public on the selection of the principal officers.”


APC governors disagreed with the party chairman, saying that the announcement of principal officers by Senator Akpabio and Abbas at plenaries enjoyed their support.


During a meeting with members of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) led by its Chairman, Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma, Adamu alleged that the National Working Committee (NWC) was not carried along.


Adamu said: “I am just hearing as a rumour now from the online media that there have been some announcements in the Senate and House of Representatives.


“The national headquarters of the party and the NWC have not received any such information or communicated its choice of officers.


“Until we formally resolve and communicate with them in writing which is the norm and practice, it is not our intention to break away from traditions.



“So, whatever announcement is done by either the President of the Senate, Deputy Senate President, Speaker or Deputy Speaker, is not from this secretariat.”


A Northcentral governor said the chairman was carried along, adding that the decision on the zoning of principal officers was reached after wide consultations with critical stakeholders of the party, including the NWC and the presidency.


A Northwest governor also cautioned Adamu, saying that the chairman’s pronouncement was capable of causing a crisis between the National Assembly and the party leadership.


Also, a governor from the Northwest urged the party leadership to work towards uniting the party by closing ranks with some aggrieved members.


He stressed the need for unity among the various party organs and hierarchies.


Uzodimma, who spoke with reporters, faulted the national chairman’s position, maintaining that the National Assembly leadership enjoys the support of APC governors.


“If there is any way that there is a communication gap anywhere, we will make it up and we have our internal mechanism of resolving such things.


“The National Assembly leadership enjoys the support of the Progressives Governors Forum and our party. We don’t have any problem at all.


”Other governors at the meeting were Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Abdulrahman AbdulRasak (Kwara), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Abiodun Oyebanji (Ekiti), Rev. Hyacient Alia (Benue), Diko Rada (Katsina), Mai Mala Buni (Yobe), Francis Ogobona Nwifuru (Ebonyi), Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe), and Umar Namadi (Jigawa).



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