From Fred Itua, Abuja
BARRING any last minute change of plan, a re-jig would soon be announced in the Senate and some principal officers, especially members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), would vacate their positions.
This, Daily Sun learnt, is part of the new agreement reached by the feuding lawmakers to douse the lingering crisis that has rocked the Senate since inception last year.
Part of the option on the table is the ceding of the position of the Senate Majority Leader to the Barnabas Gemade-led Unity Forum in line with the earlier position of the leadership of the APC.
In a June 25, letter to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Chief John Odigie- Oyegun, the APC National Chairman had detailed the names of party’s preferred candidates thus: Senate Majority Leader (North East – Ahmad Lawan); Deputy Majority Leader (North Central – George Akume); Senate Chief Whip (South West – Olusola Adeyeye) and Deputy Chief Whip (North West- Abu Ibrahim).
The Senate President, while refusing to implement the APC position, had explained that the party’s letter got to the Senate after the various caucuses had decided to nominate candidates for the vacant positions.
But under the imminent deal, Ahmad Lawan would replace Ali Ndume as Majority Leader.
A feeler to this effect emerged following last Wednesday’s closed-door meeting where the lawmakers were said to have resolved to shelve their differences and forge a common front.
Daily Sun gathered that the Senate leadership might also tinker with the current composition of the headships of the 64 standing committees to accommodate aggrieved members of the Unity Forum who are believed to have been shortchanged.
After a three-hour closed-door session, the lawmakers had released a list of resolutions reached by both members of the ruling APC and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Part of the resolutions, according to Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu was the setting up of a 12-man committee, two from each of the six geopolitical zones with a mandated to explore every option available to ensure the contentious issues are resolved amicably.
A PDP Senator who spoke to Daily Sun in confidence, said lawmakers agreed during the closed-door session not to disclose details of the meeting to the public, until the committee submits its report.
But he stated briefly: “Senators are worried that our image has been severely damaged and we need to quickly do something about it. Everyday, I wonder if coming to the Senate at this time was not a mistake. We have been fighting ourselves and we think that enough is enough.
“That was why we had to enter that closed-door session and that is the longest we have had since we were inaugurated last June. If removing the Senate Leader or even the Senate President will bring this crisis to an end, I am for it. The Senate is bigger than any individual.”
Spokesman of the Unity Forum, Senator Kabir Marafa also stated that APC lawmakers were ready to support the reconstitution of the headships of the various standing committees as part of the peace deal.
“At the end of our meeting, we came up with a three point agenda. We talked about the issue of committees’ composition. We talked about APC members in the Unity Forum who were sidelined in the composition of the committees. We said if you want to come together, we need to review certain things. The third thing was the issue of leadership.
“We agreed on two out of the three items on the agenda. We are still on the third issue on how the Senate can comply with the position of the party, APC. We have agreed that it in the best interest of APC for us to work together,” he said.
Senate spokesman, Senator Abdullahi Sabi could not be reached to comment on when the committee will submit its report.