- The delay about the proposed election budget for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has continued to put some APC senators in panic
- The lawmakers in the ruling party believed that the delay may work against their rerun bid despite the assurance of automatic tickets by the party leadership
- However, Senator Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central, APC) said that due process must be followed in rewarding members for their loyalty to the APC with automatic tickets
Troubled by the drama characterising the proposed election budget for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which may influence the fate of their rerun bid in the 2019 polls, some All Progressives Congress (APC) senators want their resumption to be postponed.
The development, which is no doubt brewing panic among the APC lawmakers might become a clog in the wheel of efforts by the presidency to get the National Assembly to reconvene as early as possible to consider and approve INEC’s budget for the forthcoming 2019 general elections, Leadership reports.
The APC lawmakers who are said to be having it rough with their state governors are running helter skelter in an effort to ensure that the Red Chamber does not reconvene till after the APC primaries for the Senate and House of Representatives have been held and their fate decided.
Sources in the ruling party revealed that the trend may work against the speedy consideration of the election budget for INEC and security pending before the National Assembly.
Adams Oshiomhole, the APC's national chairman, in consonance with the presidency, had reportedly promised the party's lawmakers automatic return ticket as an incentive for loyalty in the aftermath of the massive defections that took place in the party recently.
Some lawmakers in the party recently said they will not want the upper chamber to reconvene before the APC primaries because they may not have anything with which to bargain for the automatic return tickets they were assured by the party leadership.
The senators said the moves and comments of their state governors are still running in conflict with the position of the presidency and the APC leadership over automatic return tickets.
The lawmakers who did not want their names in print vowed that despite the assurances the presidency got during the Sallah period on the passage of INEC election budget, the senate may not reconvene for now, even if the reports of the joint committees on INEC, interior and appropriation are ready or not.
Senator Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central, APC), gave credence to the position of the lawmakers on Thursday, August 23, during his visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, Katsina; he thanked him for intervening in the crisis facing the APC in the state.
Sani who spoke to newsmen after a secret meeting with the president said they deliberated on issues bordering on strengthening the APC through resolution of all internal strife in the party. “I’m here to assure him of my own wholehearted support to the success of his administration and his return to office for second term.
"Those were the basic issues that we discussed with him and other issues that border on the need to strengthen our party, the need to end all internal strife and also the need to put heads, hearts and hands together for the success of his administration and also for the success of the party”, Sani stated.
He said that his decision to remain in the APC was not because his grievances against the party leadership in Kaduna state had been addressed, but because of the intervention of President Buhari and the national leadership of the party.
He called on all aggrieved members of the APC in the National Assembly to put aside parochial interests and join hands with the party in promoting national interest for the general good of all citizens.
Concerning if he he has been assured of automatic ticket to seek re-election in 2019, Sani who said he is not so keen about automatic ticket acknowledged that the party had pledged to reward loyalty. He, however, stressed that due process must be followed in the process of rewarding members for their loyalty to the APC.
Sani said: “I think the party had made it very clear and known to each and every person that there will be reward for loyalty but in every sense of the word, due process of the party needs to be followed.
"And as far as we are concerned, what matters most to us is not simply about automatic ticket but about the peaceful and transparent conduct of the 2019 election and also the very need for us as a people and as a nation to know that the fate of the country is on our hands.
“There is the need for us to keep aside all sectional, ethnic and religious differences for the progress of this country and going by the very fact that the President has intervened and chairman of the party has intervened – all family squabbles would certainly come to an end.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com reported that Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, the leader of the House of Representatives, had urged the All Progressives Congress (APC) to give automatic tickets to its members in the green chamber ahead of the 2019 polls.
Gbajabiamila, who led other party members in the House to a meeting with the APC leadership in Abuja asked the leadership to consider giving them automatic tickets as reward for their loyalty.
Nigeria Latest News: Buhari Reacts To APC Senators’ Betrayal | NAIJ.com TV