Reports coming in indicates that, the members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Senate may have jettisoned an earlier plan to adopt and support any “friendly” member of the All Progressives Congress who has an interest in contesting for the position of the senate presidency in the 9th National Assembly.
Investigations carried out by Punch correspondents at the upper legislative chamber on Thursday, has revealed that the PDP senators, currently numbering 41, were determined to put forward a candidate who would also contend with the candidate of the 65-member APC caucus in the red chamber.
A senator from the South -East geopolitical zone, told one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity on Thursday, that his colleagues were considering taking the advantage of the crack in the APC Senate caucus to present a candidate.
The ranking senator said, “It is glaring that Senator Ali Ndume will contest the Senate president seat on the day of inauguration because he is obviously dissatisfied with the position of the party.
“Rather than pacify him, the APC leadership seems not to care about the trauma and emotional pains they have subjected Ndume to by saying that the decision to pick Ahmad lawan was final.”
The senator then dropped a hint that the leaders of the PDP might soon come up with a decision to adopt one of their ranking senators as a candidate to contest for the position of the Senate president on June 9 that the 9th Senate would be inaugurated.
But another senator from the South-South geopolitical zone told one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity on Thursday that the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu (Enugu); Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia); and Senator James Manager (Delta) were being considered as the PDP candidate for the Senate president position.
He said, “We already have ranking senators who have shown capacity to lead the Senate. Senator Ekweremadu has been Deputy Senate President on three occasions while Abaribe and Manager have been in the Senate since 2003.”
Not all senators-elect are happy with Lawan’s choice by APC leaders – Kalu
However, indications that the PDP may spring up a surprise on the day of inauguration, however, manifested on Thursday when an APC senator-elect, Orji Uzor Kalu, said he might be forced to contest against Lawan.
He told one of our correspondents on the telephone that the decision of the APC to deny the South-East of producing the deputy senate president could force him to challenge Lawan.
He said, “It is not all the senators-elect that are happy with what they (APC leaders) did (by endorsing Lawan). As it stands now, Ndume and Goje are still insisting that they will contest and if I also contest, that means we have denied our party the right to produce the Senate President.”
When contacted, Senator Abaribe said the PDP members would vote as a group on the day of inauguration.
(Daily Advent )
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