Senate President Position: The Struggle Within APC

The battle for Senate President is in top gear, even though the position will become vacant about three months ahead. What's the rush about? Politicians don't want to be caught napping.

Front runners for the exalted seat, including Senator Ahmed Lawan, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, Senator Mohammed Danjuma Goje and Senator Abdullahi Adamu, are said to be on top of their game.

A source said the front runners have started reaching out to PDP senators.

The source told The Nation that with about 66 new senators out of 109 coming to the upper chamber, the battle would be tough.

He said if the APC failed to put its house in order before the inauguration of the 9th Senate in June, “the scenario of June 9th, 2015 when out going Senate President Bukola Saraki emerged Senate President with the active help of PDP senators would repeat itself.”

He also listed Lawan ( Yobe North), Ndume ( Borno South ), Goje (Gombe Central) and Adamu (Nasarawa West) as the leading contenders in the race for the seat of Senate Presidency.

According to the source, “Saraki factor in who takes over from him as Senate President should not be over looked.”

He added that “it is obvious that most of the re-elected senators are loyalists of Saraki. You cannot over look that factor. It may play out in the choice of who emerges as Senate President. Already, high wired politics is going on among the top contenders. People are reaching out and wooing both old and incoming senators.”

The source, who said that PDP senators must not be allowed to exploit any division among APC senators, noted that “the battle is still very much open and up for grab.”

On PDP factor in the Senate, he said with APC 65 senators and PDP 41, the opposition party must not be underrated. He said:“Anybody PDP senators with their expected block vote back for the race will carry the day.”

The APC and the Presidency, he said, should consider all possibilities before endorsing any senator for the top job.

For him, “The APC should conduct proper and indebt profiling of the contenders. Their strength and weaknesses should be considered. Their track records are likely to come to play in the choice of who becomes the Senate President.”

To prevent a dark horse from emerging Senate President, the APC must not allow all comers affair, Chairman Senate Committee on Labour and Productive, Senator Abu Ibrahim, has said.

Senator Ibrahim told reporters in Abuja that APC should immediately meet on the matter.

The Katsina South Senator said APC should set in motion the process of endorsing its candidate for the Senate President to avoid what happened in 2015 when Saraki emerged Senate President against the Party’s position.

Ibrahim is upbeat that the APC will do what is necessary in the interest of the party.

Results of the last National Assembly elections released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), shows that the APC won 65 of the 109 (about 59%) senatorial seats in the country, leaving the PDP with 41 senatorial seats (37%) and Young Progressives Party’s (YPP) one seat (1%).

The APC secured 61 seats in the Red Chambers in 2015 before the PDP infiltrated its ranks to secure the office of the Deputy President of the Senate for Senator Ike Ekweremadu.

Set up zoning mechanism for NASS leadership to avoid 2015 scenario, Nabena tells APC 
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Yekini Nabena, urged the leadership of the party to zone and select preferred principal officers of the incoming 9th National Assembly.

He added: “The Peoples Democratic Party has lost the presidential election and they have now adopted a plan B from their infamous Dubai strategy meeting.

“The plan is to hijack the incoming National Assembly leadership by repeating their heinous coup in the previous Assembly. The APC must prevent a repeat of a situation where despite our overwhelming majority in the outgoing 8th Senate and House of Representatives, its leadership was hijacked by saboteurs and their opposition PDP collaborators.”

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