Desmond Mgboh, Kano and Gyang Bere, Jos
Two coalition groups from the North have separately expressed their supports for Senate President, Bukola Saraki and All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, over the face-off at the National Assembly following defections of lawmakers.
The groups – Patriotic Northern Coalition for Justice, Peace & Equity and Arewa Youths for Peace and Security (AYPS), are planning counter rallies in Kano and Jos, Plateau for those they support.
According to coordinator of the Patriotic Northern Coalition for Justice, Peace & Equity, Babangida Sule-Manchok, the group has plannned a massive rally in solidarity with Oshiomhole for his approach and doggedness in stabilising the party.
Speaking at a press conference in Jos, Plateau State capital, Sule-Manchok
said the rally would also honour Senator Godswill Akpabio, who recently defected from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC.
He explained that Akpabio’s defection would enhance true national unity as it has put a lie to the belief that the APC is a regional party.
He said since many high profile northern leaders and politician are members of the PDP, it was also necessary for bigwigs from the South-South and South-East to join the APC in order to create balance in the polity and to propel democratic development.
He said: “We commend the patriotic approach and doggedness of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman, for trying to sanitise the entire system of Nigerian politics through his effective tactics in handling the affairs of the party since he took over, as well as his approach in resolving the recent crises in the party which he inherited.”
In a related development, Arewa Youths for Peace and Security (AYPS) has declared its unconditional support and solidarity for Saraki and the current leadership of the Senate
Addressing a press conference yesterday in Kano, its National President, Alhaji Salisu Magaji, said the Senate under Saraki has discharged its assigned mandate well.
He faulted last week’s siege to the National Assembly by operatives of Department of State Services (DSS), saying it was a clear breach of the norms of democracy, which should not have been allowed to happen.
Magaji counseled senators from the North against aligning themselves with any plot designed to undermine or truncate Saraki’s leadership in the Senate.
The youths, drawn from the 19 northern states, took particular exception to the highly militarised remarks of Oshiomhole.
He said: “The rule of the Senate is clear. It states how to elect and how to impeach a Senate President. None of its processes or articles of association includes the kind of subtle force and desperation implied in the remarks by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
“Dr. Saraki is not the problem of APC. He has exited to another party. APC has several problems to confront, which have nothing to do with Saraki.Comrade Adams Oshiomhole should please leave Saraki alone”.
He urged senators to work together towards resolving their problem, pointing out that the interference by the APC national chairman presents a precedent that would hunt the upper house in the coming years
Magaji also commented on the advisory by security authorities stopping pro-Saraki supporters from a peaceful march in Kano State, recalling that the authorities were silent when some anti-Saraki groups took to the streets to express their views on same topic.