11 Jun 2015

Why Buhari did not attend APC lawmakers' peace meeting - Presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, explained why he did not attend the emergency meeting he earlier called on Tuesday.

The meeting was convened to address crisis within the All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers to resolve the leadership tussle for the posts of Senate president and Speaker of the House of Representatives between Senators Bukola Saraki and Ahmed Lawan and Honourables Yakubu Dogara and Femi Gbajabiamila.

The APC national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had issued notice of the meeting very early on Tuesday morning, inviting the APC lawmakers to a meeting at the instance of the president.
“The president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, will address all senators and House of Representatives member-elect of the APC at 9.00 a.m on Tuesday, June 9, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja. All concerned must endeavour to attend this meeting,” the notice had read.
Though APC legislators from both chambers of the assembly, alongside party chieftains, arrived the venue in due time, Buhari did not turn up.

The president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, told Channels Television on Wednesday that Buhari was about leaving for the meeting when he discovered that the inauguration of the Senate had commenced.
“The president was about setting out when television stations started showing the programme live; the process had begun, so there was no point going ahead,” Shehu said.

“The president wanted to attend the meeting in order to show support for the party, but once the programme had began, the point had been lost,” he added.
Shehu dismissed the notion that lawmakers who missed the election at the Senate could be angry with the president, adding that “they didn’t choose to be absent, they chose to obey the party and show respect for the president. 51 APC senators decided to answer the call of the party and their president.”

Credit: Nigerian Tribune

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