Some Senators-elect have begun organizing to oppose the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, and the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s attempt to impose their preferred leadership candidates on the upcoming Senate.
Recall that the ruling APC named Godswill Akpabio and Barau Jibrin as its preferred Senate President and Deputy Senate President candidates, respectively.
However, the lawmakers-elect have rejected the plot and moved forward with their plans to elect their candidates, with many favoring the current Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu, and Abdulaziz Yari for the top two leadership positions.
Speaking to the Daily Sun, a North-West Senator-elect described Tinubu’s actions as disappointing and provocative, emphasizing that Akpabio remains an unpopular candidate due to his tarnished reputation and string of betrayals.
He accused Akpabio, a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, of playing a significant role in the incarceration of Akwa Ibom North East Senator Bassey Albert and Delta North Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, both of whom he saw as potential rivals for the Senate presidency.
He claimed that with Akpabio’s endorsement, Tinubu had denied other contestants the opportunity to compete in an open election, which he had.
Another third-term Senator from the Northeast revealed that northern Senators were working across party lines to exact revenge on Tinubu for causing confusion at the eighth Senate’s inauguration.
The lawmaker stated that Tinubu’s activities in the run-up to the inauguration of the eighth National Assembly were being scrutinized by influential political leaders in the zone, emphasizing that it had been discovered that the President-elect desired to be the power behind the throne in 2015.
In addition, a South-South Senator-elect stated that in 2019, the party avoided the mistake of imposing a preferred candidate on the legislature by zoning the number three position to the North East, allowing candidates from the region to test their popularity on the Senate floor, where the current Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, later emerged after defeating Senate Ali Ndume.
The lawmaker said:
We won’t be cowed to the the bidding of the president elect. As a matter of fact we already have our own candidates who we are sure will work in the best interest of Nigerians , acrimony free Senate and also the the executive arm of Government. To say the least we are confident in the joint ticket of Senator Yari and Orji Kalu. Either of them are good to go for any of the two positions of Senate President and deputy Senate president