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Okorocha visits Saraki, Dogara, preaches unity in APC

WORRIED by the cold relationship between the executive arm of government, the National Assembly and the party, chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors’ Forum, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, on Wednesday, visited the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, where he preached unity within the party.

The governor also visited the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara and some principal officers of the House.

Though Governor Okorocha said his visit to the Senate was belated, he added that “it is never late to make amends where possible.”

Okorocha, who told Saraki that he was visiting in his capacity as the chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum, said “this is the very first time I am coming to your office and I am here because I am concerned. I am here because I am a stakeholder. I am here as the chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum – your friends and colleagues in the struggle.

“Mr Senate President, leaders of this great Senate, you may recall a few years ago that we were all in the trenches, in battle, asking for change in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I recall vividly the role most of you played in that very struggle.

“We became a government when no one gave us a chance to be so. And shortly, Nigerians believed in us and entrusted us with the responsibility of leading this nation. But one year and several months after, we have not been able to manage this God-given victory very well and it is very worrisome.”

He said the governors met recently with President Muhammadu Buhari, all in a bid to move the party forward and bring about unity.

“Today, I am before you, the Senate President, number three citizen of this country and I ask you to use your wisdom to bring peace among our party members. We need to enjoy that very vibrancy for which the National Assembly has been known for. We need to enjoy those things that PDP used to enjoy when they were a majority in the National Assembly,” he said.

In his response, Saraki told Okorocha that he had raised vital issues that the APC National Assembly caucus would look into, while assuring the governor that the Senate would work in synergy to deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians that voted the party into power.

Saraki admitted that the crisis in the party was surmountable, saying nonetheless that the doors of National Assembly was open to the party.

He noted that it remained a surprise that the leadership of the APC had not deemed it fit in the last 16 months to visit and meet with their members in the National Assembly, adding that with synergy among the party, the executive and legislature, the interest of the common man would be maintained.

The Senate president said the lawmakers were already working to complement the executive arm in churning out laws that would help turn around the economy.

“Today, in the Senate plenary, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has passed its second reading while other economic reform laws have been passed into law,” he said.