Dogara Plotting Mass Defection To PDP, Says Gbajabiamila | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Dogara Plotting Mass Defection To PDP, Says Gbajabiamila

Posted: Jul 3, 2015 at 2:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

•  Seeks Reward For Loyalty To APC

By Rotimi Akinwumi and Chesa Chesa  –  Abuja


Members of the Femi Gbajabiamila-led faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the House of Representatives were in Aso Rock on Wednesday night to meet President Muhammadu Buhari. They demanded that he breaks his silence on the lingering National Assembly crisis.

Gbajabiamila who led 29 other aggrieved colleagues, engaged the President in a closed-door parley for about an hour, where he raised the alarm that the recalcitrant members are indeed plotting to defect to the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Femi Gbajabiamila

Femi Gbajabiamila

They urged the President to call the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara to order, especially over his refusal to heed party directives, which led to the commotion in the House, soon after its June 9 inauguration.

The National Assembly has been engulfed in crisis for a month now following the emergence of Bukola Saraki as Senate President and Yakubu Dogara as Speaker against the wish of their ruling party- the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The group recalled that Buhari and APC state governors had severally admonished the House members to abide by the party’s decision, but that Dogara and 38 other APC lawmakers continue to collude with the PDP to disobey the President, bringing the APC and its government to ridicule before Nigerians.

This continued rebellion against the party, they stressed, has left Dogara and his cohorts sitting pretty, while those loyal to the party are left uncompensated.

The group told Buhari: “The conduct of the 39 APC members colluding with the PDP is tantamount to affront, ultimately targeted at polarising our party so as to give room for many of them to decamp to the PDP.

“It is therefore imperative for Mr. President to take a stand and save the integrity of the party, by calling to order, the 39 members, which inciude the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, to respect, honour and obey our party leaders and their directives.

“We, as loyal party members, shall continue to abide by the party constitution, respect and honour our party leaders and their directives.

“We strongly appeal to you to direct the Speaker to return to our fold and be truly elected Speaker on APC platform.

“He should be directed to announce the other four party Principal Officers positions as directed by the party as it has always been the convention.”

In a position paper presented by the Gbajabiamila team, a copy of which was obtained by Daily Independent, they also drew the attention of the President to the fact that the Federal Character principle being pushed forward by the Speaker’s team while objecting to the position of the party on the principal officers’ slots are not tenable

“If the Federal Character is applicable to the National Assembly, then both the Senate President and the Speaker cannot come from the North, one of them should be advised to step down.”

The group expressed confidence in the President’s “ability to successfully mediate in the crisis, so as to save the APC from further embarrassment.”

Gbajabiamila later told newsmen that the President’s response to their demands was reassuring expressing enthusiasm that the party’s will would prevail in its effort to resolve the crisis.

The group also wants Buhari to ensure that its members do not lose out completely in the sharing of offices in the House.

According to them, it is “imperative for Mr. President to take a stand and save the integrity of the party, by cautioning, the 39 members, which include the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, to respect, honour and obey our Party Leaders and their directives.”