Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
For the first time since Senate’s inauguration on June 9, 2015, the All Progressives Congress (APC) senators last Monday held a full caucus meeting comprising members of both the Senate Unity Forum and Senators of Like Mind.
At the meeting, the senators opted to put their differences behind them and unite over issues affecting the nation, the federal legislature and the fortune of their party.
The two-hour meeting held in the private residence of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki on Monday night, was said to have been attended by 50 senators from both factions of the caucus – Unity Forum and Senators of Like Mind.
The meeting was held same time the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators were also holding their own caucus meeting at another venue.
The PDP meeting was presided over by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.
For the first time, APC senators were said to have freely discussed issues and thereafter exchanged jokes and back-slapping.
During the meeting, the senators were said to have discussed the proposed debate on the economic recession earlier intended to be led by Saraki during yesterday’s plenary and agreed that members should be patriotic in the effort to find a lasting solution to the economic crisis.
A source said: “The senators praised the efforts of the Senate president in promoting unity among members and his decision to facilitate debates towards finding tangible solutions to the economic recession in the country.
The senators also noted that by the end of next year, election issues will be very dominant in the polity and there was the need for the Senate to fast-track debates and passage of key bills before the time when partisan engagements will divert the attention of senators.
“They agreed that they should persuade their colleagues to always endeavour to be prompt at plenary so that sitting would always commence early and that the Senate should engage with the executive on the implementation of constituency projects as a way of spreading federal presence to the nooks and crannies of the country.
“Other issues discussed at the meeting include image and public perception of the National Assembly, need to hold the caucus meeting regularly and the need to be methodical in the work of the Senate. They resolve to fast-track the passage of bills, motions, public hearings, oversight, committee work and other legislative activities so as to ensure the Senate achieve more before its tenure will expire.
“The meeting may have created a new chapter in the relationship between APC senators. The ruling party has a majority of 60 senators in the 109-member chamber.”