Saraki

????????? We were hoodwinked, says ex-Kwara Gov?s camp????????? Dogara?s group: This is the biggest fraud, ever????????? APC urges losers to accept fate?All is not well with the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) as its legislators-elect in the National Assembly cast aside gloves and threw bare-knuckle punches.Hot in contention for the Senate President seat are Senators Ahmed Lawan, while Honorables Femi Gbajabiamila and Yakubu Dogara are in hot chase for the office of House Speaker.Rather than cement the bond in the party, with which it succeeded in wresting power from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a mock election organized by APC leaders at the weekend only further polarized the members.

The mock elections produced Lawan and Gbajabiamila as the party?s candidates for the offices, a decision flatly rejected by the camps of both Saraki and Dogara on Sunday.The party said that it would be shameful if the APC did not manage its recent electoral success properly and loses the offices to the opposition.Senator David Mark of the PDP may hold the ace in the Senate as both Saraki and Lawan, have started shifting their gaze towards him for the votes of colleagues in the PDP.Saraki and his supporters had boycotted last Saturday?s meeting called by the APC leadership for a mock election to select its choice, citing constitutional flaws on the part of the party for its action.

The former Kwara State Governor and his group are however insisting that they will not support any plan to do an open election when Senators-elect converge on Tuesday for election, stating that anything short of secret exercise will be against the constitution of Nigeria.The spokesperson for the group, Dino Melaye in a statement made available to the media said the Unity Forum group betrayed its initial trust by hoodwinking the APC to conduct a shadow election, just to favour its anointed candidate, Lawan.The Statement read: ?We the Senators-Elect of Like Minds today 6th of June 2015, on the invitation of our party, attended an interactive meeting with selected 5 members from each group, the Unity Forum and the Like Minds Group.?Regrettably, the Unity Forum insisted on open ballot voting which we discovered is different from the electoral process used to conduct the earlier election with the House of Representatives members elect.

To us, this open ballot voting is primitive; undemocratic and against universal electoral norms and practice.?In the light of the above, we the Senators elect of Like Minds hereby insist on our position of Open Secret voting process which we believe is in consonance with the provisions of the electoral act, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the universal electoral values.?As responsible citizens of Federal Republic of Nigeria, and leaders in our own right, we have resolved and hereby state that we shall not be part of a process that promotes undemocratic electoral process that may resort to rancorous and uncivil situations which inhibits the rights of individuals to vote for the candidate of their choice, as this process will further divide us than unite members of our party.?In conclusion we the Senators-Elect of Like Minds wish to state categorically that we will participate only in the constitutional election scheduled for Tuesday, the 9th of June 2015 in line with the rules of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.?We by this press release invite the media to a joint press conference by the 65 Senators-Elect of Like Minds drawn from across party lines on Monday morning, the 8thof June 2015?However, indications that both Saraki and Lawan may not get it smooth with the PDP emerged at the close of last week when the former Senate President moved out of Abuja to his hometown Oturkpo to avoid pressures.

But Gbajabiamila believed that the mock election will not tear the House apart during the election scheduled for Tuesday.Gbajabiamila, who sounded confident on his ability to emerge as the next House Speaker, stressed that in spite the rejection of result election by Dogara and his supporters, all factions in the House of Representatives will close ranks for the good of the Nigeria? legislature.Dogara with almost 20 of his supporters stormed out of the election venue in protest against the procedure adopted by the APC conducting the shadow election.There are indications that Gbajabiamila and his group have started mounting pressure on the other camp to accept the outcome of the Saturday?s shadow election with promises that the two groups could work together for the common interest of the House of Representatives.Dogara?s group said it would never recognise the results of the election.It pledged not to relent until members get the President Muhammadu Buhari to look into the matter.Its members contended that their candidate, Yakubu Dogara was impersonated at the International Conference Centre venue of the election because another member stood in for him as a nominee.Addressing the media in Abuja on Sunday, the spokesman for the group, Jibril?Abdulmumuni said: ?We rejected the election because it was not in tandem with the spirit and letters of the constitution. The numbers allocated to us was a fraud, we don’t accept it”.

Abdulmumin continued: “The APC leadership keep telling the public that an election was conducted and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila got 154 votes while Hon. Yakubu Dogara got three votes.?”We are very confident that the president will look at the matter in a very just manner.?”It is a blatant lie, fraud and?shameful for the APC leaders to descend so low”.?The group said that with the manner it conducted the mock election, the APC has made mockery of itself because Dogara walked out of the venue even before they perpetrated the illegality.?He stressed: “Hon. Dogara was not in the hall as at the time they said he was nominated, but the APC leaders planted someone who impersonated one of us and another person was also planted and he accepted the nomination. This is fraudulent, shameful, and dishonest.?”It was all arranged and done by APC leaders, “the Kano lawmaker said, adding: “We want a courageous speaker who is free from the apron strings of a godfather and not one that will create special bedroom in the pocket of an individual.?”After such huge intimidation, blackmail and inducement we are not surprised that they gave out such number.?”On Tuesday the real picture of the strength of our candidate Hon. Yakubu Dogara will emerge.?”We have never seen this kind of manipulation in the political history of Nigeria.

We are being intimidated and threatened because we toe the path of honour.?”We won?t let this country down. Despite the mockery of an election by the APC we are going ahead on the 9th June 2015 to nominated Hon. Yakubu Dogara on the floor of the House as speaker.”They don’t understand the dynamics of an election of House leadership, “he saidMeanwhile, the APC has started reaching out to all its members who may be aggrieved by the shadow election.The party, in a statement issued in Abuja by its National Secretary, Hon. Mai Mala Buni, on Sunday, noted that it is natural for some members to be disappointed by the outcome of the poll.It added: ?However, we must put the interest of our party above personal interests and avoid a situation whereby any other candidates, apart from those picked by the party, will emerge as Senate President and House Speaker on Tuesday.?Any outstanding issues will be resolved by the party so we won?t go into Tuesday?s election with more than one candidate each for the two posts, Senate President and Speaker, House of Representatives,? it said, adding that it would be a shame if, despite its majority in both chambers of the National Assembly, the APC is unable to produce a Senate President and a House Speaker of its choice.

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