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Senate Presidency: Desperate Senator-elect lobbies with dollar amid swell of aspirants



National Assembly Complex. Abuja
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As Senators-elect await the All Progressives Congress, APC’s zoning of the 10th National Assembly principal officers which may be pronounced before the inauguration in June this year, lobby for the seat of Senate Presidency among the old and new lawmakers keep turning a new twist by the day.

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CAPITAL POST investigation penultimate week revealed that some Senators-elect jostling for the Office of the Senate President have begun reaching themselves with appeals for consideration.

Surprisingly, therefore, our correspondent gathered that a non-ranking Senator-elect from a State in the North West geopolitical zone out of desperation offered dollars during his engagement with them.

A newly elected Senator and a beneficiary who didn’t want his name mentioned while expressing shock said, “a newly elected colleague from North Western part of the country welcomed us with $10,000 each before revealing his interest in the Senate Presidency.

“This was after each Senator-elect got Certificate of Return on Wednesday last week”.

“This really is a mouth watery gift and as things are gradually unfolding, we look forward to see that day after we might have been inaugurated early June”, he said.

Though, not comfortable with the development, he wondered at the desperation with which some aspirants have started reaching out without the pronouncement on zoning by the party that brought them to the Senate.

He feared, if some of them would listen to the party structure to guide them with regards to the zoning of principal officers, noting that he didn’t want a repeat of the 8th Senate when Senator Olubukola Saraki emerged as Senate President with the embattled opposition party’s Ike Ekweremadu as Deputy against the interest of the governing party with its attendant four year rancorous 8th Senate.

According to him, a ranking Senator among the aspirants was also said to have promised returning lawmakers and all APC Senators-elect, juicy committee membership if they supported his aspiration.

At least, 101 Senate seats have been cleared by the Independent National Electoral Commission with the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC) having 56.

The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), has 27 Senators; the Labour Party has five; the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, has two; Social Democratic Party, SDP has two, All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA and the Young Progressives Party, YPP, have one Senator each.

CAPITAL POST reports that the number of aspirants to the seat of Senate Presidency keep swelling by the day with the incumbent President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan interested in retaining his office.

Lawan, who is representing Yobe North Senatorial district has a group lobbying subtly on his behalf.

It is not certain, if Lawan who comes from the North East with the Vice President-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima would be retained. The same equation also caught up with Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume representing Borno South Senatorial district who is also eyeing Senate Presidency.

Also, the Chairman, Committee on Senate Services, Senator Sani Musa, (APC, Niger East), popularly known as 313, who is well cherished by most of his colleagues, is in the race.

He is a second timer, and having come from Niger State in the North Central Senatorial district, Musa has bright chance for the position because his state produced the highest number of votes in the North Central during the presidential election.

Senator Barau Jibrin, APC, Kano North, who is the current Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations, is equally in the race.

He was recently reported to have hosted some Senators-elect to a lunch at the Transcorp Hilton to seek their support.

The Senate Chief Whip and former Abia State Governor, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, representing Abia North, is also said to be interested in the position. As he was seen expressing his ambition to some few senators-elect after the interactive meeting on Monday in Abuja.

Others are, Senators Godswill Akpabio, Akwa Ibom State; Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State; and Senator Danjuma Goje, APC, Gombe Central.

Former deputy Senate leader, Senator Abdul Ningi from Bauchi State; former Zamfara Governor, Abdulaziz Yari; Aliyu Wammako, APC Sokoto North; and Sahabi Ya’u, APC Zamfara North, are also said to be in the race.

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