APC in dilemma over Senate Presidency

Posted by Deji Elumoye and Onyebuchi Ezigbo, Abuja | 4 March 2019 | 1,762 times

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•Nigerian Senate Chamber

 A week after the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) secured majority seats at the National Assembly, the party is in a dilemma as to which geo-political zone to back for the office of the Senate President, ahead of the inauguration of the 9th Senate in June.

It was gathered that the leadership of the party has commenced considerations for a new zoning arrangement that will guide its members in electing the leadership of the apex legislative arm of government.

APC won 65 Senate seats out of the National Assembly election results declared so far by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with the opposition Peoples Democratic (PDP) winning 40 seats and Young People’s Party (YPP) one seat while four senatorial seats election that were declared inconclusive by the electoral body will be concluded this Saturday.

However, multiple sources confirmed to THISDAY yesterday that APC, which won a clear majority seats in the 109-member senate appears to be in a dilemma over which among the ranking senators should be nominated for the coveted office of the Senate President.

With the President and Vice President coming from the North-west and South-west respectively, the South-east would have been favoured to produce the next Senate President but the two APC Senators-elect from the zone – Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia North) and Rochas Okorocha (Imo North) are fresh senators and may not be eligible to vie for the position, going by the rules of the Senate.

Another Senator from the zone, Benjamin Uwajumogu (APC Imo North), who is seeking re-election, did not win during the February 23 election as INEC declared the senatorial election inconclusive but the election will be concluded on March 9.

If he wins as a second time Senator, Uwajumogu stands a chance of being considered for the Senate President by the party leadership and the senators.

Although the APC leadership has not come up with a zoning formula to guide the election of the presiding and principal officers of the 9th Senate, there are however indications that some senators are already being prodded for the positions, especially the Senate President.

The ranking Senators being considered include Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North); former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume (Borno South); Chairman of Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje(Gombe Central), and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa West).

These four Senators have started networking with their re-elected colleagues and senators-elect with a view to sensitising them ahead of their inauguration in June.

It was further gathered at the weekend that the 40 PDP Senators that will form part of the 9th Senate are already considering the possibility of the Senate President coming from the South.

Some of the re-elected PDP Senators were said to have impressed it on their colleagues at an informal meeting weekend the need for the next Senate President to come from the South.

It was learnt that the ranking PDP Senators have started reaching out to their colleagues on the matter and may not hesitate to replicate what happened at the take-off of the 8th senate in June, 2015 when the 9th senate is inaugurated in June.

Excerpted from THISDAY report

Source: News Express

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