Senators that opposed the passage of the bill re-ordering the 2019 election sequence have returned to the drawing board.
The weak resistance, it was learnt, was due largely to public backlash and disappointment from their support base.
When contacted, the arrowhead of the protesting lawmakers, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, said: “I don’t want to comment further on the issue. I have confined myself to the majority decision of the hallowed chamber. I’m done with what I have said so far.”
But the political intrigue to stunt the bill looks unrelenting, as Senator Ovie Omo-Agege had vowed, while briefing newsmen, last week, that the bill would never see the light of the day. “It will finally amount to an exercise in futility,” he declared.
Investigations revealed that some senators who were in audience, last week, with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Villa, returned unfulfilled.
According to inside sources, Buhari was suspicious, confiding only in a few members of his kitchen cabinet about his political ambition. His stance was said to be a direct reaction to cracks in the ranks of APC stalwarts.
The key players in the controversial re-ordering are part of the majority lawmakers drawn from the two chambers, who also are members of the ruling party.
The President visiting Daura, his Katsina state hometown may not be unconnected with the smouldering intra-party crisis on all fronts even though Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and chairman, APC governors Forum, had explained that they were in Daura to commiserate with the president on the death of two of his relatives.
However, the protesting senators have latched in at the Daura large political gathering of party faithful to penetrate Buhari and the large APC family, where dominant issues at the strategic meeting were the contentious election sequence, intra-party crisis, re-branding Buhari’s public image and his re-election bid.
A reliable Presidency source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the APC national leadership has agreed to go for broke and ensure that the bill does not succeed, as they prevailed on Buhari not to endorse the bill into law, saying that doing so “would be tantamount to self defeat and eventual sack of APC come 2019.”
It was also gathered that APC governors have been directed to engage with senators and members of the House of Representatives from their respective states for a common agreement against the bill in an event that the National Assembly leadership decides to veto the power of Mr. President.