A closed-door meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress’ lawmakers in Nigeria’s House of Representatives has ended without concrete resolution of the controversy surrounding the choice of principal officers in the House.
The meeting scheduled ahead of Tuesday’s resumption of the Senate and the House from recess, ended sooner than expected.
“Party Is Supreme”
Addressing the lawmakers at the Monday meeting, President Buhari asked members of the House to ensure that they adhere to the party’s supremacy, as they resume to elect principal officers after the one month recess.
President Buhari’s comment emphasised a position he had expressed in a previous meeting with the party’s leaders and the leaders of the National Assembly.
At that meeting President Buhari stressed that “the party is supreme“.
There have been leadership tussle over the choice of the principal officers of the House of Representatives, a situation that had caused a rift between the leadership of the House and that of the party. There were expectations that the issues would be addressed at the Monday meeting, but the meeting lasted for few minutes, with the President emphasising the need for lawmakers to recognise party’s superiority.
First to arrive was the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr John Oyegun, followed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara.
Over 200 of the members of the APC expected to be at the meeting were present.
President Buhari was swift in the way he presided over the meeting, which lasted for only 20 minutes.
It was expected that the meeting was going to drag, judging by the nature of the disagreement in the House and the premonition that the meeting was designed to broker peace between the Dogara and Femi Gbajabiamila factions.
The members were seen coming out of the banquet hall and addressed reporters in what could be describe as discordant tones.
But the APC Chairman, with the Speaker by his side, said they were on the same page.
While the Speaker, however, said consultations would continue, Honourable Gbajabiamila described the meeting as a family meeting, saying “the outcome will soon be known”.
At the weekend, some members, formerly in support of Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, declared their support for the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, on his proposed formula to resolve the crisis.
But some of their colleagues disagreed, saying their position on the matter remained unchanged.
On Tuesday, the members of the House will resume proceedings and will deal with the issue of choice of principal officers which had brought a rift between members of the APC in the House.