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There appears to be a crack in the ranks of members of the House of Representatives loyal to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, as two members of his group have disowned the letter written to the chairman of the party, Chief John Oyegun, insisting on party supremacy in the selection of principal officers of the House.
Both members also called on the party to accept Speaker Yakubu Dogara’s concession of the two major principal positions to the Loyalist Group supporting Gbajabiamila in the interest of peace and stability.
Hon. Muktari Dandutse (Katsina APC) and Hon. Tijjani Abdulkadir Jobe (Kano APC), in a statement yesterday, said the July 18 letter to Oyegun, signed by Hon. Nasiru Sani Zangon-Daura, did not reflect the wishes of the group, as it did not emanate from any formal or collective meeting of their group.
“We make bold to state that the views expressed by Hon. Nasiru Zangon-Daura was his personal opinion and never has the Loyalist Group met or agreed to write formally to the leadership of the party in reaction to last week’s entreaties by Speaker Dogara to the National Chairman of our great party on the way forward,” the statement read.
Reaffirming their loyalty to the Loyalist Group, Dandutse and Jobe disclosed that the last time the group met was at the July 3 meeting of the APC National Executive Committee (NEC), where it accepted to engage the Governor Aminu Tambuwal-led reconciliation committee.
The duo expressed confidence in the Tambuwal committee, whose report was being awaited, adding that they remained resolute in the conflict resolution mechanism embarked upon by the leadership of the party through the Progressives Governors’ Forum of the party.
“We therefore urge the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership to throw sentiments aside and accept the olive branch extended by the Speaker, so as to achieve an amicable resolution of this lingering impasse in the House of Representatives, as this will ensure peace, stability and progress for the onerous national assignment and expectations bestowed on all of us.
“We want to also use this medium to call on all members of the Loyalist Group nationwide to bury the hatchet, embrace peace and take Nigeria first, above personal interests. This is our position,” they added.
In defiance of the nominees selected by the APC, the Consolidation Group, a group in support of Dogara, on Tuesday presented its nominees for the principal posts in the House.
The group presented Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa (Kano APC) from the North-west as the House Leader and Hon. Pally Iriase (Edo APC) from the South-south as the Chief Whip.
Doguwa and Iriase are members of the Loyalist Group headed by Gbajabiamila who was pencilled down by APC for the post of House Leader.
Dogara’s supporters also presented Hon. Buba Jibrin (Kogi APC) from the North-central zone as Deputy House Leader and Hon. Chika Okafor (Imo APC) from the South-east as the Deputy Chief Whip.
Based on his selection by the Consolidated Group, Doguwa Wednesday was reported to have accepted his nomination as House Leader on condition that it is part of the reconciliation process being handled by the party.
He however urged his camp, the Loyalist Group, to accept the concession made by the Speaker.
In a text message to THISDAY last night, Doguwa said he viewed the offer as a welcome development.
“I will accept if it is coming from the perspective of the ongoing reconciliation process being handled by APC as a party. Our group has not yet taken a collective position.
“But I personally view the offer made by the Consolidation Group as a welcome development and therefore urge the Loyalist Group and the party to accept this concession by Dogara’s group in good faith.
“We must be ready to accept a compromise position to bring about peace and stability in the House of Representatives,” the text message read.
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