Senate Presidency: APC Senators Zero In On Lawan

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Senate Presidency: APC Senators Zero In On Lawan

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• PDP plots ‘Saraki option

By Ismail Omipidan

There are strong indications that new and returning senators elected on
the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may have
zeroed in on Senator Ahmad Lawan as their preferred choice for Senate
President.

Their decision, it was gathered was informed by
Lawan’s long legislative experience. He has been elected as a lawmaker
from Yobe North, since 1999.

However, he was first elected senator in 2007.

Besides,
it was also gathered that the Presidency is not likely to be averse to
his choice, considering how he was the party’s preferred choice as
senate president in June 2015; before he narrowly lost the position to
the incumbent, senator Bukola Saraki.

Although feelers from the
party indicate that leaders of the party may be favourably disposed to
the choice of Lawan, considering his loyal disposition to the interests
of the party, APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre
Isa-Onilu, however, said the party is yet to take a position on the
matter.

In response to questions from Daily Sun, whether the
party has taken a decision concerning the zoning of the senate
presidency, Isa-Onilu simply replied: “We can only do that at either the
National Working Committee (NWC) or National Executive Committee (NEC).
Neither has held any meeting recently.”

Lawan is from Yobe State, in the North East. He is also the incumbent senate leader.

There
are, however, two other strong contenders from the zone, it was
gathered. They are his predecessor in office, Ali Ndume, from Borno
State and the current Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations on,
Danjuma Goje.

Apart from contenders from the North East, the South East is also making a strong bid for the position.

Leading
the pack from the South East is former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor
Kalu, who led the state to deliver over 25 percent votes to President
Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 presidential and National Assembly
elections.

Regardless, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is
also exploring the ‘Saraki option,’ which saw the party team up with
some chieftains of the APC in 2015; to produce the senate president
against the wishes of the APC.

In 2015, the APC wanted Lawan,
with senator George Akume, from Benue State, as his deputy, before some
senators scuttled the arrangement.

Regardless, Daily Sun
investigations revealed that the tenure of the Eighth Senate will end on
Sunday, June 9; having been inaugurated on June 9, 2015. But, Senate,
by tradition, does not sit on Sunday.

The chamber is expected to shut down, on or before Thursday, June 6, 2019.

Once
that happens, the Ninth Senate is expected to be promulgated by
President Muhammadu Buhari, through the Clerk to the National Assembly,
on Tuesday, June 11, 2019.

For now, APC controls the chamber, although not with an overwhelming majority.

The PDP has, so far, produced only 37, out of 109 senators, while the APC has 62.

It
was further gathered that as things stand, APC can, on its own, produce
the presiding officers leadership of the senate; if there is no contest
for the position among the various interests and tendencies that make
up the party.

But, once there is contest, Daily Sun further
learnt, any of the tendencies would require the support of the PDP to
get elected. APC’s new and returning senators appear to be committed to
ensuring that the APC does not suffer the fate it suffered in 2015.

Source:- Sunnewsonline

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