- Sources in Aso Rock say President Muhammadu Buhari is set to intervene in the Senate presidency race
- The president is said to have remained unyielding to the subtle pressure to get him personally endorse any candidate
- The revelation is coming amid pressure by some leaders of the APC to secure the buy-in of the president to endorse their candidate
A report by Leadership newspaper indicates that President Muhammadu Buhari has remained unyielding to the subtle pressure to get him personally endorse a particular candidate for the Senate Presidency and Speakership of the 9th National Assembly.
The revelation is coming amid pressure by some leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to secure the buy-in of the president to the plot to impose their preferred candidates as presiding officers in both Senate and House of Representatives.
Presidency sources quoted in the report, said the president’s well-known position of non-interference remained unchanged, contrary to a report portraying him as meddling in the election of the leadership of National Assembly.
A source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that contrary to media reports that Buhari was going to prevail on Senator Danjuma Goje and Senator Ali Ndume, both of whom have indicated interest in the Senate presidency alongside the party’s preferred candidate, Ahmed Lawan, the president will not do so because he has no preference among the three.
A source close to Senator Ndume said: “There was no such meeting where Mr. President prevailed on Ndume and Goje to drop their ambitions for Lawan.
“There is not going to be any such meeting because the president, historically, has never interfered in an electoral process at any time and at any level, right from his time in Congress of Progressive Change (CPC).
“In fact, he never interfered in his own election. As he has said before, he belongs to everybody and he belongs to no particular person. And this case of the Senate cannot be an exception because we know him to be a man of his word.
“And by the way, the presidency, through its spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, had issued a statement long ago that the president will not interfere in the emergence of the leadership of the National Assembly. Mr. President’s position was further reinforced by Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly, Ita Enang.
“So this idea that the president will call the three contestants and ask them to drop their ambition for Ahmed Lawan is a figment of their imagination.”
He further said, “President Buhari will never join anyone to subvert the constitution, hence his stand on this matter.”
A recent media report recently indicated that President Muhammadu Buhari may hold a frank meeting with Senators Goje and Ndume - on the adoption of Senator Ahmad Lawan for the Senate presidency.
According to sources quoted in the report, the president decided to intervene in the matter to avoid APC going into the battle as a divided house and to ensure the ruling party presents a lone candidate for the job.
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