The battle for the control of the National Assembly seems to be getting tougher – outside the two chambers.
Senators and members of the House of Representatives supporting President Muhammadu Buhari are back to the drawing board to sustain APC’s majority in the two chambers.
They are demanding that Saraki and Dogara must step down if the APC retains the majority in the National Assembly by September 26 when the lawmakers end their annual recess.
The lawmakers, who are mostly members of the Parliamentary Support Group (PSG), may ask Saraki to quit if he is put on trial over the Offa robbery. The Senate President insists on his innocence.
He was quizzed yesterday by detectives investigating the incident in which no fewer than 33 people died.
PSG members and some strategists of the President have been meeting on how to “consolidate APC’s majority” in the National Assembly.
One of the issues on the agenda is Saraki’s refusal to read letters of defection of three senators, who are defecting from PDP to APC. They are Hajiya Fatima Raji Rasaki; Hope Uzondima and Sunday Ogbuoji.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said Nigerians have not heard the last word on the defections in the National Assembly.
He said: “We believe APC has the number to hold a simple majority in the two chambers, contrary to what our leaders have been telling the nation. Without Senator Saraki, APC senators are 53 and, of course, it is obvious that APC is in the majority in the House.
“Pro-Buhari/ APC members of the National Assembly have had some sessions in the last 72 hours and our ultimate goal is to sustain our majority in the two chambers.
“With the upcoming elections in two states and ongoing talks and reconciliation, we will certainly be up to 57 in the Senate.
“All we are waiting for is for Saraki and Dogara to tell the nation whether they are defecting or not. Once they defect, we will insist that they must step down as our leaders.
“By simple majority, we are expected to produce the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. We will not take anything less than that.”
A PSG leader said: “Deep in their hearts, Saraki and Dogara know that they have some hurdles to cross. The option for Dogara is to remain a member of APC and keep his office. Once he abandons APC for PDP, he has to step aside. And if he does not defect, he won’t get any 2019 ticket in APC.”
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