President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed disappointment in the events at the National Assembly, where Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara, have continued to defy their party, the All Progressives Congress.
Buhari is equally disappointed that a PDP member emerged the deputy senate president.
Senior Special Assistant on Media to the president, Malam Shehu Garba conveyed the president’s position in a statement last night, ahead of the National Executive Council meeting of the party in Abuja today.
According to The Nation newspaper, President Buhari would restate his position at the NEC and urged Saraki and Dogara to bow to party supremacy in the choice of principal officers of the National Assembly.
Today’s NEC meeting will be the first by the party, since it won the presidential election in March.
Shehu disclosed what transpired in the meeting between the President and a pro-party group in the House of Representatives, led by Femi Gbajabiamila.
“The President having heard from the Speaker needed to hear out Gbajabiamila and the 174 APC loyalist-members behind him.
“When he met the representatives of the APC caucus on Tuesday night, President Buhari rued the fact that ‘we won the battle and lost the war’. Without mentioning names, he said that ‘those who went with the PDP know that they are killing the APC’.
“He said he was thoroughly disappointed about what happened in the Senate and was still agonising over it, but equally blamed the APC majority for failing to assert their numerical superiority.
“He said he expected Senator Saraki and Dogara to bend in deference to the party leadership, because, as he said, ‘we have to make the choice of either having a party or none at all. I believe in the superiority of the party over all members so this issue and all others, I will continue to stand with the party,” the President told the meeting.
“President Buhari is also expected to emphasise at tomorrow’s (today’s) NEC meeting that he is a product of the party’s due process himself, and would not allow due process to end with him.”
Gbajabiamila is confident that the party will insist on its supremacy.
He said: “We all know the President is a party man. He believes in party supremacy”.
The 174 APC members of the House loyal to Gbajabiamila urged the President to prevail on Dogara to abide by the APC’s decision and announce the remaining four principal officers.
APC wanted Gbajabiamila to be Majority Leader, Alhassan Doguwa Deputy Leader, Mohammad Monguno Chief Whip and Pally Iriase Deputy Chief Whip.
But Dogara and his group – in a replica of the Senate scenario – are not disposed to the party’s position. Urging Buhari to call to order the 39 disloyal APC members, who have colluded with the PDP members in the House to undermine the APC, the group said the Federal Character principle being thrown up by Dogara and his loyalists cannot apply to National Assembly as it did not apply in the 6th and 7th National Assembly.