- The race for the leadership of the 9th Senate is already on
- Former governors have reportedly resolved to ensure that one of them emerges the next Senate president
- One former governor has already declared his interest in the seat and he is expected to be a front-runner in the race
A report by Leadership indicates that former governors and deputy governors who are ranking senators in the incoming 9th Senate have resolved to ensure that one of them emerges the next Senate president.
According to the report, some of the ex-governors eyeing the Senate top job include Danjuma Goje (Gombe) and Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa).
The governors-turned-senators say it would be wrong for them to come to the Senate and be subservient to their former subjects who used to prostrate before ‘His Excellency.’
The 15 former governors coming to the 9th Senate include Orji Kalu (Abia North), Theodore Orji (Abia Central), Kashim Shettima (Borno Central), Sam Egwu (Ebonyi North), Gabriel Suswan (Benue East), Danjuma Goje (Gombe Central), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun Central) and Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu East).
Others are Ibrahim Shekarau (Kano Central), Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa South), Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa North), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto North), Ibrahim Geidam (Yobe East), Abdul’Aziz Yari (Zamfara West) and Adamu Aliero (Kebbi Central).
Accordingly, the ex-governors had collectively resolved that, irrespective of party affiliation and their individual ranking, they will rally round one of them to be elected as the next Senate president.
It is also believed that the current Senate leadership is chairing this group and rooting for a high ranking senator who is an ex-governor.
It was learnt that the ex-governor is being favoured because he was rather non-aligned or did at no time work against the interest of the Senate leadership all the while it was facing pressure from the APC and the presidency.
The senator was said to have been tutored not to talk to the press about his aspiration, and not to discuss it with anybody except highly trusted All Progressives Congress (APC) senators.
A senator from the North-central is said to be coordinating the campaign for the emergence of the ex-governor as the Senate president.
According to a senator who is in the know of the plot, after their inauguration on Monday, June 10, 2019, a member of their group would get up to nominate him irrespective of APC’s choice candidate.
His words: ‘‘The block vote of opposition senators which would not be fewer than 40 will be given to him; and with pliable APC senators we shall mobilise, he would certainly emerge. One of us shall emerge, by the Grace of God, as his deputy.
‘‘You know, President Buhari does not usually care about the fate that befalls his supporters; hence by the time we promise some APC senators juicy committee chairmanship, they would readily prefer it to he so-called adherence to APC party directives.”
He remarked that the former state governors of those in the forefront for the Senate presidency were elected senators on February 23. They are Ibrahim Geidam who comes from the same state as Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan (Yobe), and Kashim Shettima, from Senator Mohammed Ndume’s Borno state.
‘‘Do you expect them to come here and be answering ‘Yes sir, Your Excellency’ to these senators in case one of them emerges as Senate president? That is why all the governors have agreed to team up for one of them to emerge,’’ he said.
Anothers senator quoted in the report, said some members may feel dissatisfied with the APC’s late hour settlement and decide to negotiate with the opposition senators the way outgoing Senate president Bukola Saraki did four years ago.
According to the senator, the only possibility for the APC to avoid the manner Saraki, Ike Ekweremadu and Yakubu Dogara emerged as National Assembly leaders on June 9, 2015 against the wishes of the ruling party is for the governing party to come up with a power sharing framework as a matter of urgency.
He said such framework must be all-inclusive and devoid of sentiment against regions that voted for the party or not.
“Exclusion and non-appreciation of the Nigerian diversity stood firmly as some of the major faults of the Buhari administration between 2015 and 2019.
“I have no doubt that President Buhari can put an end to the continued alienation of south-east, for instance, by being the statesman we all want him to be. This he can do using his powers as national leader of APC to ensure that the south-east, the third leg of the nation’s tripod, is brought within leadership circles by making sure the president of the 9th Senate is selected from the south-east,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, senators from the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday, March 13 traded words in the upper chambers of the National Assembly.
The heated exchanges were due to the conduct of the just concluded 2019 general elections. The disagreements began after a Point of Order raised by Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi, APC), in which he called on the Senate to debate the way and manner the elections were conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) across the country.
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