As the scramble for leadership positions in the 8th National Assembly intensify between the various factions in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has now become the beautiful bride with the leadership of the party now trying to leverage on the inability of the APC to produce consensus candidates for the two arms of the legislative houses.

It would be recalled that the APC on Saturday failed to resolve the crisis in the party over the election of the eighth National Assembly leadership.

Some APC senators-elect, led by one of the leading candidate for the Senate presidency, Bukola Saraki, boycotted a mock primaries conducted by the leadership of the party to pick a consensus candidate.

Saraki’s supporters had requested that the secret ballot system be adopted for the election, a request they said the NWC turned down.

The party’s NWC however said the open ballot system would be adopted for the process, a situation which was not agreeable to the Like Minds Senators.

For the House of Reps, APC lawmakers-elect at a meeting with the leaders of the party also on Saturday, opposed the election of the House Minority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, as the party’s sole candidate for the speakership of the lower chamber.

Dogara and 18 of his supporters had walked out of the venue when it became apparent that the party was going ahead with the election despite their protest against it.

The APC has 213 out of the 360 members of the House of Representatives. The meeting of its leadership with the members-elect started at 10am.

Those who signed the attendance register at the meeting were 183, while the total number of votes cast was 161.

Gbajabiamila emerged victorious by polling 154 votes to defeat Yakubu Dogara, who got three votes.

Some members of the Dogara group later returned and tried to get the party leadership to concede the position of Deputy Speaker to their group, a proposal the party leadership said came too late.

With the failure of the APC to reach a compromise, election into the offices of the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives is now a make or mar event that will determine the continued existence of the new ruling as a united family, barely two months after it won the general election.

This is particularly so as the PDP will now play a major role in the emergence of the leadership of the National Assembly, particularly the senate.

It was gathered that the former Senate President, is favourably disposed to Lawan emerging as his successor, although he has not come out publicly to show his preference.

The Lawan’s group, a source in the PDP told Hallmark last night, though had gotten assurances from several PDP senators, is trying unsuccessfully to penetrate the South-South and South-East, where Saraki’s candidacy is said to be enjoying tremendous support.


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