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Drama As APC Senators Exchange Blows Over Remaining Senate Leadership Positions

Bukola Saraki

*As Marafa Pushes Alasoadura To The Ground

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja – The 59 senators of the All Progressives Congress (APC) peace meeting on Tuesday ended in fiasco with senators physically assaulting one another.

The APC senators, based on announcement made by Saraki during plenary, had assembled at room 301 of the Senate new wing for a meeting with him, which however resulted shouting match between the pro and anti Saraki senators when the issue of remaining leadership positions in the senate meant for the party was raised.

Disagreement between the two camps which led to verbal outbursts and exchange of blows between senators across the divides, was sparked off when the senators belonging to the Like Minds and Unity Forum groups failed to reach middle ground on the procedure for the emergence of a candidate for the various leadership positions.

While the Saraki-led Like Minds Senators at the meeting, insisted that other positions be zoned among geo-political zones of the country and candidates be produced at the caucus level.

The Ahmad Lawan group under the aegis of Unity Forum however disagreed.

The Unity Forum senators, on the contrary, insisted that all vacant positions be filled by the national leadership of the party.

But the Like Minds senators, however, came up with a zoning formula that gave the position of Majority Leader to the North East; Deputy Majority Leader, Noth West; Chief Whip, South West; and Deputy Whip, South South, respectively.

According to one of the Lawmakers who attended the meeting, Suleiman Hunkuyi (APC, Kaduna North), the problem was caused by attempts by the Saraki-led group to impose its candidates on the party.

Midway into the meeting which was held behind closed door, an angry Hunkuyi stormed out of the venue and threw the doors open, asking newsmen around in to witness the drama.

With the atmosphere already charged, trouble started when Senator Tayo Alsoadura (APC Ondo Central), a member of the like minds senators differed over the choice of Senator Sola Adeyeye (APC Osun Central) as Chief Whip.

The lawmaker insisted that Senator Robert Boroffice (APC, Ondo North) was better candidate to Adeyeye given his experience as a ranking senator.

But one of the Unity forum senators, Kabiru Marafa (APC, Zamfara Central), a younger lawmaker aged 54 who took offence with Senator Alsoadura observation, launched an unexpected attack on the latter who staggered backwards and almost hit the ground.

Senators at this point, rushed to the rescue of the 65 year old Alasoadura by forming a thick wall to prevent him from hitting the ground dangerously.

Earlier before the meeting went violent, the convener, Bukola Saraki , pleaded with the APC senators to forget the past by rallying round his leadership of the Senate and by extension the 8th National Assembly.

He said though a lot has been happening within and outside the political sphere of the party in the last few weeks, but as members of the same house, there was need for them to come together for the benefit of the party and Nigeria.

He said: Distinguished colleagues, I have convened this meeting for obvious reason, among other things, the need to come together , unite with each other and embrace one another on the platform of love, and as brothers with the believe that we would all do the needful and put our differences behind us and forge ahead.

“As we go into this meeting, let us discuss, interact and bear our minds out with the believe that there are solutions to all issues. Every thought and ideas shall be welcomed and every opinions and suggestions will be considered because this is a family affair.”

But the family affair later went awry with no general agreement between the two factions on who and who to be chosen for the four principal positions even as the like minds group had already penciled down senators Ali Ndume (APC Borno South) for the position of Senate Leader, Sani Yetima (APC Zamfara West) for Deputy Leadership position, Shola Adeyeye (Osun Central) as Chief Whip and Francis Alimikhena (Edo North) as Deputy Chief Whip.




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