Thursday 27 June 2013


NOTWITHSTANDING the fact that the opposition alliance group, All Progressives Congress (APC) is yet to secure its registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), indications have emerged that the merger platform has kick-started a move to take over the National Assembly.
A combination of all opposition legislators in the present configuration will give the party only one third of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
But information at the disposal of the Nigerian Tribune indicated that the APC has set up different teams at the state and at the national levels to lobby Senators and members of the House of Representatives who belong to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
While the objective is to ensure a strong footing for the merger party  and quicken the possibility of its winning the presidency in 2015, the party also has the objective of securing a majority in the National Assembly ahead of the next general election.

Sources said that the main beneficiary of the planned hijack of the National Assembly may be the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.
It was gathered that Tambuwal may remain as Speaker after the APC would have engineered the defection of no fewer than 100 members of the House to its camp.
Some sources told the Nigerian Tribune that besides the team working on House members and Senators in Abuja, a number of lobbyists are also being deployed to serving Senators in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Adamawa  Kogi, Nasarawa, Plateau, Benue, Kwara and Niger states.
While some of the Senators and members of the House are being offered automatic tickets to retain their seats, others who have indicated intention to contest gubernatorial seats are also being promised the ticket.
Some of the lawmakers who have been approached both at Abuja and their home states told the Nigerian Tribune that the APC lobbyists are very serious.
A Senator, who is interested in returning to the Senate in 2015, has been offered automatic ticket.
He was told he would be allowed to fix his allies into the chairmanship and councillorship seats of all the local governments in his constituency.
It was learnt that while the APC plans to win 100 members of the House, it is also targeting 40 Senators.
After ensuring the defection of close to 40 Senators, the APC would, according to the source, demand for the post of Deputy Senate President.
Currently, the three opposition parties have 160 members in the House, while they would be guaranteed an overwhelming majority if they secure 240 members.
A source described the emerging scenario thus: “What that party is up to is a two-pronged approach. They are working for 2015 and creating a scenario before 2015. They believe they can convince Tambuwal to switch without a threat of impeachment if they grant automatic tickets to most of his loyalists in the House and with that he would resign as a PDP Speaker and be re-elected as APC Speaker.
“He will also take that majority to the next general election, which they plan to win. In the case of the Senate, their target is to reduce the hold of the PDP substantially such that they can request the number two seat in the red chamber.”

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