9th NASS: Epic battle brews in Senate

Posted by Onyedi Oiabor | 16 March 2019 | 894 times

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•Nigerian Senate Chamber

  The battle for the Senate Presidency is gaining momentum by the day.

With certificates of return issued to senators-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday, the battle for the nation’s number three seat has shifted to the geo-political zones.

Impeccable sources listed North East, South South and South East geo-political zones as the front runners in the jostle for the exalted seat of the Senate President.

While the three zones are said to have stepped up their bid for the Senate President slot, the North West zone is also said to be interested in the position of Deputy Senate President.

The zones, it was gathered, are reaching out to the Presidency and the leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC) to make case for themselves in the zoning arrangements of APC.

With APC’s majority of 65 members, PDP 42 and YPP 1, APC is expected to produce the President of the Ninth Senate.

Findings showed that sitting senators and other newly elected were positioning themselves to grab available leadership positions in the Ninth Senate, which may be inaugurated on June 8.

Inside sources believe that until the APC rolls out its zoning formula, the intrigue, scheming by aspirants for the coveted seat would not abate.

Front runners in the race for Senate Presidency include Senators Ahmed Lawan (Yobe North), Mohammed Ali Ndume (Borno South), Mohammed Danjuma Goje (Gombe Central) all from North East.

Senator Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa West), who is also said to have indicated interest in the Senate top job, hails from the North Central geo-political zone.

New entrants for the exalted position are said to include Senators Benjamin Uwajimogu, Francis Alimikhena and Senator-elect Orji Uzor Kalu.

But some of them are regarded as mere pretenders for the top job.

Those positioning themselves for the Senate top job from the South South are said to include the Senate Deputy Whip, Senator Francis Alimikhena and the Delta Central Senator, Ovie Omo-Agege.

Observers say Alimikhena (Edo North) and Omo-Agege may be banking on the influence of APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, to ensure zoning the slot of either the Senate President or Deputy Senate President to the South-South geo-political zone.

But aspirants banking on the support of the Presidency to secure Senate top jobs may be disappointed.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Affairs (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, said that President Buhari believes strongly in the principle of separation of power and may not interfere in the selection process of the leadership of the National Assembly

“President Muhammadu Buhari is a man of high principles. His stand on this matter is that each arm of government should function according to what the constitution says, and that every person in government should do the right thing, and that he will not go beyond what the constitution allows him and that every other arm of government should stick to their constitutional responsibilities,” Enang told reporters in Abuja yesterday.

Excerpted from The Nation report


Source: News Express

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