2023 Elections: First-timers Yari, Oshiomhole, Umahi Eye Senate Presidency
- The race for the Senate presidency in the incoming 10th National Assembly has taken a new turn
- Feelers from the ruling APC indicate that first-timers are showing interest in the race, not minding that they are not ranking senators
- Recall that the rule of the red chamber does not explicitly state that only ranking senators can be Senate president
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FCT, Abuja - A report by ThisDay indicates that the race for principal offices, particularly the position of Senate President in the upper chamber, has begun.
According to the report, the incumbent Senate president, Ahmad Lawan, and some senators-elect on the All Progressives Congress (APC) platform, like Orji Uzor-Kalu, Barau Bibrin, Godswill Akpabio, Adams Oshiomhole, Abdul-Aziz Yari and Dave Umahi, had started subtle campaigns.
Interestingly, some lobbying for the position are first-timers in the Senate, but they are still pushing on.
They include Oshiomhole, a former APC national chairman; Yari, a former Zamfara state governor and Umahi, who is currently the state governor of Ebonyi,
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The entrance of Oshiomhole, former two-term governor of Edo state and erstwhile national president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, into the race, surprised keen watchers of the political game playing out in the National Assembly.
Those canvassing for his emergence insist anything is possible. They maintain that since the rule of the red chamber does not explicitly state that only ranking senators can be Senate president.
For Yari, Tinubu’s special mention of his name after his election suggests that the president-elect greatly respects him.
Analysts say it might be a subtle endorsement of Yari’s political aspirations by Tinubu.
Umahi, on his part, stands a good chance of becoming the Senate resident but would have to convince his colleagues and the ranking senators that he has the capacity and requisite legislative skills to lead the red chamber.
10th Senate: Northern group backs Senator Akpabio
On its part, the Northern Democratic Agenda (NDA) has threatened a nationwide protest and legal action against Senator Akpabio should he refuse to vie for the Senate presidency.
Leadership reports that the group described Akpabio as the most suitable and balanced candidate for the office.
In a press statement signed by its national president and secretary, Mallam Turaki Yakubu and Andrew Terlen, the group called on the APC to consider the south-south geo-political zone, which has yet to produce a Senate president since 1999.
Senate presidency: APC powerbrokers reportedly favour Uzor-Kalu
Legit.ng earlier reported that Senator Uzor-Kalu will likely get the powerbrokers' support in the APC.
The former governor of Abia state is said to have the backing of significant stakeholders due to his current position in the Senate.
He will, however, face stiff opposition from some APC senators who are also eyeing the plum position.
Labour Party candidate Onyewuchi wins Imo East senatorial election
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission declared Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi the Imo East senatorial election winner after the National Assembly elections.
Onyewuchi of the Labour Party polled 100,631 votes to defeat Chief Uche Onyeagucha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who got 87,229 votes.
Onyewuchi, a serving senator, had lost the PDP ticket to Onyeagucha during the primaries before he headed for the Labour Party.