Senate Presidency: Battle Now Between Saraki and Lawan As Akume and Ndume Steps Down
As the date for the inauguration of the 8th National Assembly draws near, the battle over who will clinch the position of the Senate President is heating up.
Tow of the four contenders for the Senate top job, Senators George Akume and Ali Ndume, yesterday stepped down for the Senators Ahmed Lawan and Bukola Saraki respectively.
The decision both senators took at a retreat organised for the APC senators-elect however caused the creation of two faction each rooting for their respective candidates.
Akume, who decided to step down for Lawan and vie for the position of Deputy Senate President instead led the Senate Unity Forum, while former House of Reps Member, Dino Melaye led the pro-Saraki faction.
The Akume faction in their statement said: “We, the Senate Unity Forum comprising senators- elect from various states and various zones of Nigeria, have met, held extensive discussions and resolved to support Senator Ahmed Lawan as Senate President and Senator George Akume as the Deputy Senate President of the 8th Senate,” the group said in a statement signed by spokesman, Barnabas George (APC, Benue).
However, the pro-Saraki group led by Dino Melaye also called a press conference, claiming that they had 39 out of the 59 APC Senators on their ranks. However it was just 24 of them who addressed the press.
Ali Ndume, the other aspirant for the role is now a member of the pro-Saraki group as well.
They read a resolution titled “Resolution of the adoption of Saraki as sole candidate for the office of the senate president of the 8th Assembly by 35 senators”.
If no consensus is reached by the party, it will be an open contest upon the inauguration of the senate in the first week of June and Saraki or Lawan needs a minimum of 55 votes to win, which is a simple majority of 109 senators.