APC bows to pressure, accepts Saraki as senate president
The National Chairman, All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, on Friday said the party had accepted Senator Bukola Saraki as the President of the Senate.
He said the reality was that Saraki’s colleagues had duly elected him and the party was ready to live with the reality.
Odigie-Oyegun spoke with State House correspondents shortly after joining members of the transition committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to present their report to the President at the Defence House, Abuja.
Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, both of the APC emerged as leaders of the National Assembly on Tuesday against the directives of the party, which had earlier asked its members to vote for Senator Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila.
Since their emergence, the party had insisted that Saraki, Dogara and their supporters would be sanctioned.
When asked specifically whether the party would accept Saraki as the President of the Senate, Odigie-Oyegun said, “Of course! He has been duly elected by his colleagues. We have a reality and we must live with it.”
On Saraki’s aborted visit to the APC secretariat on Thursday, the party chairman said there were a lot of consultations going on at that time and he could not have been in two places at the same time.
He however said party chiefs were already talking with Saraki and would not want to make a noise about it.
He said, “Nothing went wrong (on Saraki’s aborted visit), there were a lot of consultations and you can’t be in two places at the same time.
“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 is being put in proper perspective.”
On the crisis that erupted in the party after the elections in the National Assembly, Odigie-Oyegun said the APC had faced greater challenges before and the latest one too would pass away.
“It is not the first or second time we have passed through this kind of scenario and we came out strong. This may not even be the last time, we come out every time stronger and more determined,” he said.
The party chairman said what happened was within the APC family and they were sorting it out within the family.
He added that aggrieved persons who threatened to go to court were doing so within their rights.
“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,” he explained.