When President Muhammadu Buhari met on Wednesday night with the leadership of the national assembly, one key officer was absent. And he is the officer who has generated the most controversy since his election.
Sen. Ike Ekweremadu is a PDP senator who is currently the deputy senate president despite the fact that the PDP is the minority party in the national assembly. He was the one absent principal officer and for now, the reason for his absence is unknown.
This isn’t the first time a principal office is occupied by a member of the minority party in the national assembly. Aminu Tambuwal who was speaker in the last House of Representatives belonged to the APC. However at the time of his election he was in the ruling party. It was only after the split within the then ruling party that he decamped.
When Ekweremadu was elected, it was said to be a big problem for the president who even reportedly told APC lawmakers during one of the meetings he held with them that it could not stand.
Reports from the meeting quoted the president saying “there was no basis for the split among APC Senators which led to the concession of the Office of Deputy President of the Senate to the PDP.” He said PDP did not give the opposition such an opportunity in its 16 years in power.
Principal officers of the two chambers were led into the meeting at the Conference Room of the First Lady by Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
The legislators arrived at 8.45 pm for the meeting which commenced at 9.20pm.
President Buhari arrived for the meeting at 9.15pm in company of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Secretary to the Government of the Federation Babachir David Lawal.
The lawmakers in attendance included Senate Leader Ali Ndume, Senate Deputy Leader Bala Ibn Na’Allah, Senate Minority Leader Godswill Akpabio, Senate Minority Whip Philip Aduda, House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun, House Leader Femi Gbajabiamila, among others.
Details of the meeting are unavailable at the moment even though it is believed that they discussed how to foster a cordial relationship between the executive and the legislature.