Saraki, Akume, Goje, others eye Senate Presidency

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Some members of the All Progressives Congress in the Senate who won the recently concluded National Assembly election have refused to make comment on their preferred candidate for the post of Senate President in the eighth National Assembly.

Investigations by our correspondent revealed that the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Senator Bukola Saraki (Kwara Central ); Senate Minority Leader, George Akume ( Benue North West); and Danjuma Goje (Gombe Central), have started making moves to contest the post.

However, one of the outgoing PDP senator, who pleaded anonymity, told our correspondent on Sunday that Mark might recontest the seat “because there is no section either in the constitution or the Senate rules that says only members from the majority party could emerge as president of the upper chamber.”

The source said Mark could still be re-elected as the Senate President since the Peoples Democratic Party won 49 out of the 109 seats in the red chamber.

The source said, “Since Senator Mark is currently enjoying a massive support from his PDP colleagues and he is also loved by majority of the opposition senators who are returning to the Senate, he could be voted for if they still believe in his leadership.”

Attempts to speak with the media aides of Mark on the issue were unsuccessful on Sunday as none of them picked their calls or reply the text message sent to their phones.

But further findings by our correspondent revealed that the APC leadership would not allow the emergence of the next Senate President from the PDP come June this year when the 8th National Assembly would be inaugurated.

Most of the senators who spoke on the issue during separate telephone conversations with our correspondent on conditions of anonymity, confirmed that serious moves were being made by Saraki, Akume, and Goje to take over the seat from Mark.

One of them from the South West said, “I have personally been consulted separately by the contenders and I told them that I would support any candidate which the party leadership approves.”

The Senator representing Zamfara Central, Kabiru Marafa, when contacted, declined comments on the issue claiming that he would only make his position known after the APC leaders might have allocated the position to a particular geo-political zone.

Marafa in a telephone interview on Sunday said, “I am not aware that the party had zoned the position to any region. It is still premature to discuss that for now. The leadership of the party would decide first then those interested to run will signify interest.”

Meanwhile, none of the senators allegedly making moves for the senate top job could be reached as of the time of filing this report as calls put through to their telephone lines were either left unanswered or failed to connect.

Meanwhile, the North-East chapter of the APC has asked the leadership of the party to cede the Senate Presidency or Speaker of the House of Representatives to the zone in recognition of the zone’s contribution to the party’s victory at the just-concluded presidential election.

The people said they have abundant talents and qualified candidates for the positions if given the opportunity to produce either of the two major political positions.

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