The battle to succeed Bukola Saraki as President of the Senate has gained momentum. Already, key contenders for the top legislative job, are traversing every nook and cranny of the country, soliciting for support.
The three top contenders are the current Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, former Senate Leader, Mohammed Ali Ndume and chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje. Former Governor of Abia State and senator-elect, Orji Uzor Kalu who until recently was among the top candidates for the job, has now settled for the position of the Deputy President of the Senate.
Though the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has endorsed the candidacy of Lawan, Ndume, who was sacked in 2017 as Leader of the Senate, has however vowed not to throw in the towel. He said the open endorsement of Lawan by the national chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, was unconstitutional and an affront on the parliament, which he said must be independent.
“First of all, let me say that the decision by the party to settle for an individual instead of zoning the position to a particular geopolitical zone and also consulting or allowing the senators from that zone to decide who among them they prefer as Sen- ate President, is a surprise. We were surprised on Monday when national chairman of our party told us a decision had been taken to adopt Ahmad Lawan as candidate from the North East for the position of the President of the Senate.
“At the meeting, Oshiomhole just threw it to us that Lawan will be the Senate President. I don’t believe that it is thenposition of Mr. President. Before I joined this race, I consulted with Mr. President. He gave me the go ahead. I consulted with Tinubu and he gave me the go ahead. That was immediately after the primaries, before the elections. I did that to avoid what hapened in the past when Tinubu told me that I came late. I have respect for the President and Tinubu. But I am 60 years old. I stand for truth and do what is right,” Ndume had told newsmen in Abuja.
Saturday Sun has learnt that there is a gang up against the candidacy of Lawan. It was gathered that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators-elect, are plotting to scuttle Lawan’s emergence. The PDP, which currently has 43 senators-elect, wants a repeat of 2015, when it pitched its tent with Saraki to emerge as Senate President.