Senate Presidency: Akpabio, Orji, Uba, Egwu attend pro-Saraki meeting

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By NIYI ODEBODE, JOHN ALECHENU AND SUNDAY ABORISADE

Peoples Democratic Party Governors-elect on Tuesday night attended a meeting held by some of their All Progressives Congress counterparts rooting for the emergence of former Kwara State Governor Bukola Saraki as the Senate President.

The PUNCH learnt that the meeting which held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja had 65 senators-elect in attendance.

A source who attended the meeting listed   Godswill Akpabio, Theodore Orji and Sam Egwu among the PDP senators-elect that were in attendance.

Our source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said some of the PDP senators-elect were backing Saraki because it appeared that the APC leaders were in support of Ahmad Lawan.

The source said, “For now, the PDP has not endorsed any candidate but some of us are in support of Saraki because the APC leaders appear to be supporting Lawan.”

A senator-elect from Kogi State, Dino Melaye, confirmed to journalists on Wednesday that some PDP senators-elect attended the meeting by Saraki supporters.

Melaye said that the   PDP and the APC senators had already confirmed their endorsement of Saraki.

According to him, the meeting was attended by many PDP and APC Senators, including Sabo Nakudu, Mohammed Gobil, Ali Ndume, Danjuma Goje, Binta Garba, Ubah, Shehu Sani and   Aliyu Wamakko,

He said, “The meeting was a mixture of PDP and APC senators. Forty APC and 25 PDP senators were in attendance. We resolved that we have to produce a senator that is made by senators.   Eighty per cent of senators from Lawan’s North-East attended the meeting and endorsed Saraki.”

But a senator elect, who claimed to be a member of the Lawan Camp faulted the claim that most of the PDP senators-elect had endorsed   Saraki.

The senator-elect, who did not want his name in print, added that some PDP senators -elect were also working for Lawan.

“We want to elect our own leaders in the 8th senate but the party, too, will have an input but it is important to elect someone with integrity, experience and a transparent attitude,” he said.

Besides the North-West, the South-West Caucus of the party had also endorsed Lawan.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, had in an interview with one of our correspondents on Tuesday, assured the leadership of the APC that the recent endorsement of Lawan   would not cause any rancour among the lawmakers from the South-West.

Besides Saraki (North-Central) and Lawan (North-East),   George Akume (Benue) is also contesting the senate presidency.

The APC has yet to zone the position and others, including the speakership of the House of Representatives.

But it was gathered that some members of the APC caucus in the North-West, who were earlier reported to have endorsed Lawan had started supporting Saraki.

In the PDP, among those supporting Lawan, are loyalists of the Senate President, David Mark.

Attempts to speak with Saraki on the issue were futile .

The Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media,   Kola Ologbondiyan, said that his principal had not endorsed any aspirant for the senate presidency.

“The senate president is not a member of the APC and he doesn’t attend their meetings,” he said in a telephone interview.

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