The face-off between the Presidency and leadership of the National Assembly may take a longer time to resolve if President Muhammadu Buhari and his party insist on the Assembly leaders tendering an apology for defying the directive of All Progressives Congress, APC, in the choice of leaders.
This is because the two men are not in a hurry to apologise for defying both the President and party in putting themselves up for election into the two key NASS posts.
A ranking Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, lawmaker, who was privy to the plot by his party to work with a faction of APC to elect both men against the directive of APC, confirmed that the two men did not see any reason to tender any apology to anyone.
The lawmaker, who is from one of the southern states, and was one of the seven NASS members that spearheaded the election of both officers, said the two men did not see any reason to apologise to either Buhari or APC.
The man, who spoke in confidence with Vanguard because of the severity of the issue involved, said Buhari and his party were going to the extreme to ask Saraki and Dogara to apologise over their action.
The lawmaker, who is a staunch member of the National Unity Forum, pointed out that none of the two men committed any infraction to warrant the call for apology and asked Buhari and his party to accept the emergence of Saraki and Dogara in good faith for the country to move on.
The South-South lawmaker said: “To the best of my knowledge, neither Saraki nor Dogara will apologise to anybody because they have not committed any crime to warrant such remorse.
“The sooner APC realises that these posts have slipped of their hands, the better for the party and Nigeria.
“The truth of the matter is that there is nothing Buhari or APC can do to change the tide. If Buhari does not recognise Saraki and Dogara, Nigeria cannot move forward. Even if APC suspends both men today, it will not change anything as that would not invalidate their offices.
“The members of PDP are solidly behind the two leaders of NASS and any attempt by the Presidency or APC to move against them in any way would be stoutly resisted by us in PDP.
“The only option that Buhari and APC have is to allow the two men to operate as our leaders or face our wrath.”
‘We had a working understanding’
On the claim by Saraki that he did not know who would be voted for on the day of inauguration of NASS, the lawmaker described the claim as a ‘mere political statement’ meant to save his face, saying that he had a working understanding with PDP lawmakers to deliver him and Ekweremadu as his deputy.
The lawmaker said: “What Saraki said is just a political statement to get out of trouble with APC because he was in the know of what was being planned to get him elected.
“In fact, we negotiated to get him the block votes of PDP and secure the deputy slot for our man, Ike Ekweremadu.”
It will be recalled that the emergence of Saraki and Dogara has caused some disquiet in the Presidency and APC, making it difficult for APC to celebrate its majority status in the NASS.
Since their emergence, the two men are yet to be welcomed with open arms by the Presidency and there were reports that they might be made to tender an apology for working against party interest.