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APC National Executive Committee To Meet Over Saraki-Dogara Defiance



The All Progressives Congress has summoned a session of its National Executive Committee (NEC) for Tuesday to discuss the defiance of the party’s directive by the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara.
Ahead of the said meeting, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met with Sen. Ahmed Lawan and other senators in the Unity Forum group.
Tuesday’s NEC meeting in Abuja, a reliable party source said, is meant to “review the situation in the National Assembly, especially the defiance of the directive of the party on the choice of principal officers by Saraki and Dogara.”
It was also learnt that the NEC may come up with recommendations on how to reconcile the warring groups in the National Assembly.
But ahead of the session, some leaders have been pushing for sanctions against Saraki and Dogara.
A top party source said: “Some of our leaders are insisting that the APC must wield the big stick against those who disrespected the party’s leadership.
“They said once the party is not assertive, its authority will be eroded and it may not help the survival of APC.
“But we have some moderate elements seeking amicable resolution of all the issues at stake in order not to deepen the crisis in the National Assembly.
“Tentatively, the NEC of APC will meet on Tuesday to address some of these challenges. ”
Responding to a question, the source added: “There are enough provisions to checkmate the erring members because the APC Constitution is explicit in declaring that the party is supreme.
The source cited Articles 9.2, 9.3, and 21 of APC Constitution to back his claim.
Article 9.2 (Rules and Obligations) says: “Members of the party shall be obliged to affirm the party’s aims and objectives and conduct themselves in a manner that shall not bring the party to public odium and disrepute…”
Article 9.3 of the APC Constitution (Cessation of Membership) reads in part:  “Membership of the party shall be terminated by death, resignation or expulsion or by procurement of membership of another political party or accepting political appointment from any political party or opposition government.
Article 21 reads “Subject to the provisions of this Article and the right to fair hearing, the party shall have power to discipline party members. The power shall be exercised on behalf of the party by the respective Executive Committee of the party at all levels.
“Offences against the party shall include the following: (1.) A breach of any provision of this constitution; (2) Anti-party activities or any conduct which is likely to embarrass or have adverse effect on the party or bring the party into hatred, contempt, ridicule or disrepute.
“Disobedience or negligence in carrying out lawful directives of the party… Flouting the rules, regulations and decisions of the party…”
A complaint by any members of the party against a public office holder, elected or appointed or another member or against a party organ or officer of the party shall be submitted to the Executive Committee of that party at all levels concerned which shall not later than seven days of the receipt of the complaints, appoint a fact- finding or Disciplinary Committee to examine the matter.
“The Executive Committee concerned upon  receipt of  the report of the fact-finding  or Disciplinary Committee shall not later than 14 days thereof either ratify or reject the decision of the fact-finding or Disciplinary Committee.”
According to findings, President Buhari’s meeting with Lawan group would hold at about 9 pm yesterday.
The session was said to be in progress at press time.
A source said: “Buhari’s intervention is the first in the series of steps put in place to resolve the crisis in the Senate and the stalemate in the House of Representatives.
“The Lawan group is expected to rub minds with the President on the way forward in order to restore stability to the system.”
A respected member of the Lawan group said: “We are meeting the President to clearly state our position and the options available for peace to reign.
“We also want to advise him to take a position because no President can ignore the parliament. The issue of being indifferent is not good for him.
“We tabled six demands before the party but despite the intervention of the party leadership, Saraki defied these terms for peace.”
The demands of the Unity Forum were as follows:
APC leadership should instill discipline and intervene in the choice of some principal officers in the Senate.
It is better to leave the choice of some principal officers to APC than zonal caucuses in order not to further divide the governing party
Ranking must be considered in the selection of principal officers.
Concession of some principal offices to the Unity Forum including Ahmed Lawan (Majority Leader); George Akume (Deputy Majority Leader); Prof. Sola Adeyeye (Senate Whip); and Abu Ibrahim (Deputy Whip).
Reconciliation is possible if Saraki group does not play the politics of winner-takes-all.
PDP should not be allowed to produce any principal officer except those due to it as the minority party in the Senate.

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