The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Friday moved to contain the crisis engulfing the party over the election of principal officers of the National Assembly by recognising Bukola Saraki as the duly elected President of the Senate,.
Saraki’s election, which did not go down well with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s faction of the APC, had threatened to undo the gains the party made in wresting the presidency from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Tinubu camp rejected Saraki’s emergence ans insisted that the APC had earlier adopted Ahmed Lawan for the position and had threatened to sanction those who backed Saraki’s ‘coup’ to clinch the Senate Presidency.
The group also rejected the emergence Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, because it had presented Femi Gbajabiamila for the same position.
Straw polls conducted in the days leading to the inauguration of the National Assembly saw Lawan and Gbajabiamila emerging the party’s preferred candidates for the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively.
However, Saraki emerged President of the Senate unanimously as Lawan and his supporters including leaders of the party waited at the International Conference Centre for a meeting with President Mumammadu Buhari.
Angered by the process that produced Saraki, the APC and Tinubu had disowned Saraki while some APC senators threatened to challenge Saraki ‘s election in court.
However, the national chairman of the APC, John Oyegun, while fielding questions from Journalists after the submission of the Ahmed Joda’s transition committee report, at the Defence House Abuja, announced that the party had made a u-turn over the matter.
He said it was time to face reality and work with the current leadership of the National Assembly while the party tries to resolve the issue internally.
“Of course he has been duly elected by his colleagues. We have a reality and we must live with it”.
He noted that the party had come in contact its own fair share of challenges and “this too shall pass away”.
On this being the beginning of the end of APC Oyegun said “No, It is not the first or second time we have passed through and we came out strong. This may not even be the last time, we come out every time stronger and more determined “.
He said that the party was sorting out what had happened within its party as a family adding that “People say they are going to court which is their right, but as a party we are looking at everything and we are coming out strong”.
On Saraki’s aborted visit to the APC secretariat on Thursday he said his visit had not been convenient for the party at the time . ” Nothing went wrong, there were a lot of consultations and you can’t be in two places at the same time and so it was not comfortable for us, but we have been talking . We don’t want to make a song and dance of it, everything being put in proper perspective” he said.