- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan may emerge as the consensus presidential candidate of the National Assembly
- There are reportedly forces in the Nigerian Senate pushing for the candidacy of the Senate president
- Sources close to the Yobe-born politician have revealed that he will join the presidential contest this week
National Assembly - A report by Daily Trust newspaper indicates that a sharp crack has been created in the Senate caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the quest to endorse the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan as the consensus presidential candidate of the parliament.
Lawan, who has been at the National Assembly since 1999, is set to formally declare for the presidency this week, multiple sources around him confirmed.
But the Senate president told journalists that only God will determine his next step when asked about plans by some powerful forces in the north to support him for the presidency.
Ahead of the Yobe-born-lawmaker’s declaration, there were plans to declare him as the consensus candidate of the Senate.
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It was gathered that the endorsement was being promoted by some of his allies in the parliament including Senator Yusuf Yusuf (APC, Taraba), Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger), and a former lawmaker, Senator Abdullahi Gumel.
The push for the endorsement, which started before the senators’ Sallah recess had reportedly polarised the parliament.
Many lawmakers have since pitched tents with other presidential aspirants, with some serving as campaign managers.
Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno), is leading the campaign for Chibuike Amaechi, Senator Kashim Shettima (APC, Borno) is playing a leading role in Bola Tinubu’s campaign, while Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano) is in charge of the campaigns of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Aside from these three, there are other lawmakers who are involved in the campaigns of other aspirants, thus the moves to present Lawan as the consensus candidate has been hanging in the balance.
A lawmaker, while puncturing the claims that Lawan is under intense pressure to join the race for the presidency, said the project was the brainchild of Lawan and his few allies.
“It is untrue that he is being pushed by northern elders. He is pushing himself; otherwise, tell them to mention the northern elders. Who are they?
“It is purely his aspiration and nobody is pushing him, rather he is pushing people to key into the project. They are planning to present him as the Senate consensus candidate and we are going to outrightly and publicly resist being railroaded into this failed project.”
But a lawmaker in Lawan’s camp insisted that the Senate president was being pressured to join the race by northern elders.
2023: Former Lagos deputy governor endorses Senator Amosun
On her part, a former Lagos state deputy governor, Hajia Sinatu Ojukutu, has endorsed the presidential aspiration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
Speaking to Legit.ng at the presidential declaration of the former Ogun state governor, Ojukutu said:
“We need a president that will build industries, that will make the light to come on. I believe in Senator Ibikunle Amosun, I believe he can do it. It is not a question of gainsaying. I believe he has what he takes, I believe he can deliver.”
2023: Sources say APC may field northern presidential candidate
Recall that a recent report indicates that the APC may field a northern candidate that can compete with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) if the opposition party picks its presidential standard-bearer from the north ahead of the 2023 election.
According to the report, although the APC was interested in zoning its presidential ticket to the south, the outcome of the PDP’s presidential primary scheduled for Saturday, May 28, and Sunday, May 29 would determine its final decision.
It was also learnt that the chieftains of the party in the north had started shopping for a strong presidential candidate from the region if the PDP’s candidate is picked from the north.
2023: Fear grips APC presidential aspirants as Buhari keeps mum
Meanwhile, there are indications that aspirants on the platform of the APC are currently in confusion and fear over the modality the candidate of the party will emerge after the primaries for the 2023 presidential election.
Although the aspirants have been declaring and have even started purchasing the party’s N100 million expression of interest and nomination forms, however, many of them are groping in the dark and uncertain about how the party’s candidate will finally emerge.
As a mark of respect, almost all the aspirants had approached President Muhammadu Buhari to notify him of their intentions before declaring openly, but surprisingly they all got the same presidential endorsement response.