SAHARANEWS – The adoption of Senator Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe) for Senate President in the incoming ninth national assembly by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), is causing ripples within the party.
This was as a former Senate leader, Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno) lashed out at the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, describing the endorsement as unconstitutional.
SaharaNews had previously reported that Oshiomhole, during a meeting President Muhammadu Buhari had with APC Senators-elect Monday night, announced Lawan as the party’s choice for the Senate President position.
APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole with President Muhammadu Buhari
However, multiple sources reliably informed SaharaNews Tuesday afternoon that the party’s position has been rejected by majority of the APC Senators-elect.
Reliably, SaharaNews gathered that aside Lawan and Ndume, Senators Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe) and Abdullahi Adamu (APC, Nassarawa) are also interested in the position and have since indicated their interest.
While Senator Abdullahi Adamu is being considered to succeed Lawan as the Senate leader, there are reports that Goje enjoys the support of the Saraki group because he appears more acquiescent to the group in its bid to secure the position of Deputy Senate President, acting in concert with the PDP caucus.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, Ndume argued that Lawan’s choice as Senate President was an unpopular decision.
According to him, both President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, gave him their consent when he made his intention to contest the position known.
The lawmaker, who expressed shock over the decision, however, said he would consult the leaders of the party in the North East and his colleagues who were supporting his aspiration, before taking a final position on the issue.
Ndume said all his colleagues at the meeting were shocked when Adams Oshiomhole unilaterally announced his decision to endorse Lawan as candidate of the party.
He said, “All my colleagues at the occasion yesterday (Monday) were shocked when Adams Oshiomhole unilaterally announced his decision to endorse Lawan as candidate of the party.
“It is an unpopular decision because I am sure that President Buhari and other leaders of the party are not in support of that action. None of the stakeholders was also consulted.”
Also speaking, one of the Senators-elect who did not want to be mentioned confirmed Ndume’s position.
He said already, other contenders for the Senate President position have started reaching out to their colleagues in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to lobby their support.
He, therefore, advised the party leadership to take precautionary measure “to ensure that the Saraki scenario in 2015 does not repeat itself.”
Similarly, an APC Senator from the North East, who apparently supports Ali Ndume’s aspiration, said Oshiomhole did not consult the party before announcing his decision.
The lawmaker said he was shocked when Oshiomhole mentioned Lawan as the next Senate President, in the presence of other top contenders and Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “We were all shocked when he (Oshiomhole) told us that Lawan is the next Senate President. He did not allow us to speak before they directed that the National Anthem be recited, which brought the meeting to an end.”
There are fears that Ndume, who was supplanted by Lawan as Senate Leader in the eighth Senate, sees this as an opportunity to take his pound of flesh. Ndume believes that Lawan colluded with Saraki to effect his removal as Senate leader without prior notice or complaints.
SaharaNews recalls that Ndume had stepped out to pray only for him to return to the chamber to discover that he had been removed and replaced with Lawan.
“The 2015 scenario is building up ahead of the inauguration of the ninth assembly. Will the APC and President Buhari allow a repeat of history? It will be farcical if, under his nose and in a back-to-back manner, the President allows the 2015 tragedy to be re-enacted,” an APC Senator, who spoke to our reporter on Tuesday, added.