The Senate may have named its other principal officers, but the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) says it is not officially aware that Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti Central) and others have emerged.
Opeyemi, according to an announcement by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, on Tuesday is the Senate Majority Leader.
Akpabio said the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caucus “after due consultations … reached a consensus to pick Bamidele as the Senate (Leader)”.
Senator David Umahi emerged Deputy Senate Leader; Ali Ndume (Borno South) emerged Senate Majority Whip while Senator Lola Ashiru is Deputy Majority Whip.
Senate Minority caucus consisting seven political parties also came up with its leadership.
According to Akpabio, they are Senator Simon Davou Mwadkwon (PDP, Plateau North) Minority Leader, Oyewumi Kamorudeen Olarere (PDP Osun West), Deputy Minority Leader, Darlington Neokocha (LP Abia Central) Minority Whip, Rufai Hanga (NNPP Kano Central) Deputy Minority Whip.
But APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, says the party was not aware of the announcements of new principal officers in the National Assembly.
He told journalists on Tuesday in Abuja at the party’s national secretariat, that the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) was not informed of the positions.
He dissociated the party’s leadership from the majority leadership positions announced by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas.
He spoke before the party’s NWC went into a closed door meeting with governors elected on its platform on the aegies of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) saying it was a rumour on social media.
“I am just hearing as a rumour now from the online media that there have been some announcements in the Senate and House of Representatives.
“The national headquarters of the party of the NWC has not given any such information or communicated about the choice of offices.
“Until we formally resolve and communicate with them in writing which is the norm and practice, it is not our intention to break away from traditions.
“So, whatever announcement is done either the President of the Senate, Deputy Senate President, Speaker or Deputy Speaker, is not from this secretariat.
“We are going to formally inform you that we are going to have a caucus, and for quite a time, there has been no caucus in place,” Adamu said.
He added that the caucus had been reconstituted according to the party’s Constitution.
He, however, said that the party’s NWC would listen to the governors on all issues, take their advice and work in compliance with the provisions of the party’s Constitution.
“We hope that we will be receiving some reports from the PGF, Chairman, or his representative, to get to know about your feelings and what is going on.
“And what is your thinking on what to do to improve the chances of the party and therefore reduce the problems and bickering that we have been hearing from time to time,” he said.
Adamu said the PGF would be provided the party’s detailed accounts from April 2022 to April 2023 which had been audited and submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Also speaking, Gov. Hope Uzodinma of Imo said the meeting was to brainstorm and to enable the governors contribute their ideas to building the party and the country generally.
He, however, said the party’s leadership had a responsibility to sensitise progressive governors and all progressive minds in the country on government policies and programs.
This, he said, was critical to get their support and put them in a better position to market government policies to critical stakeholders, labour unions, the political class and the private sector.
According to the Imo governor, this will enable them understand the benefits of certain decisions taken by the government recently.
“We are completely loyal to the party, and we assure its leadership that all the governors here are constructive partners to the job of building our party.
“And we are willing to work with the party and submit to its ideas and norms, we don’t have another party, this party is the largest party in Africa, and we will have to run with it.
“So I want to congratulate all of us for the victory and successes recorded so far and by the grace of God, we will continue to record more successes,” Uzodimma said.