APC Moves to Settle Rift Between Senate and Presidency
Reason may have prevailed within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as leaders of the party have met to settle the crisis between the Presidency and Senate over the appointment of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.
An unnamed official in the presidency told the Punch newspaper that the party had intervened in the rift and will announce its decision before the end of the week.
According to the source those who attended the peace meeting, which held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, are the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; the Deputy National Chairman, North; Senator Lawal Shuaibu; the National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni; the National Treasurer, Mohammed Gwagwaruwa; and the National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso.
“Our party leaders have met with all the gladiators. I met on Friday with some of the party leaders who attended the meeting. I guess they will be speaking on the outcome soon.”
“To be fair to the Senate President, he was the one who contacted the acting President shortly after their resolution – to express his willingness to attend any meeting organised to find a lasting solution to the matter and he attended,” the source said.
However, a National Assembly source said the meeting between the acting President and the Senate President on Thursday night was at the instance of Osinbajo.
The source said the Senate’s resolution on Tuesday compelled Osinbajo to invite Saraki to a meeting.
“A meeting took place between Saraki and Osinbajo. The acting President actually reached out to the Senate President after the lawmakers sent a strong signal to the Presidency.
“The acting President seems to have realised the implication of what he said. He was literally begging at the meeting that nobody should heat up the polity; that what he said was only a reaction to what Mr. Femi Falana said. Also, note that if the acting President did not want to see Saraki, the Senate President would not have gone there.”
But while top officials of the party were meeting in Abuja, other influential party members were reportedly using back channels to try and resolve the crisis in the party.
“We are intervening to prevent things from getting out of hand. We are using back channels to reach out to the executive and the members of the legislature.
“We don’t want individuals to take advantage of the situation to advance their personal agenda. Egos are bruised and we must do everything to de-escalate tension.
“For now, we are reaching out to both parties to get them to avoid making public statements capable of exacerbating the situation; we will take it up from there.”
Osinbajo in an interview suggested that the presidency did not the confirmation of the Senate before making Magu the substantive Chairman of the EFCC after the Senate had rejected him twice.
Following the statement, the Senators on Tuesday, threatened to withhold all requests for confirmation into executive positions from the Presidency until Magu was removed from the position.