Nigeria Senate: Tension as 9th Assembly elects principal officers today
As election of Nigeria’s 9th Senate President and his Deputy comes up on (today) Tuesday with Senator Ahmed Lawan and Ali Ndume locking horns for the position, both former 8th Senate leaders are still gripped with tension.
It’s particularly so, because the Clerk to the National Assembly, who is the administrative head has adopted a secret ballot system of Tuesday’s election of principal officers of the Senate.
To this effect, ballot boxes and polling booths, which were procured by the NASS Management for Tuesday’s secret balloting was seen by PAPER NAIJA on Monday.
Initially, there was conflict of ‘modus operandi’ with skepticism from the Ahmed Lawan Campaign Group headed by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi that if secret ballot was adopted, there might be shocked despite Ahmed Lawan’s adoption by the ruling All Progressives Congress.
While the Presidency’s intervention has made the former Governor of Gombe State, who is also a ranking Senator, Danjuma stepped down for Lawan, his rival, Ali Ndume representing Borno South has insisted that it was late stepping down for anyone
Between Ahmed Lawan and Ndume, no one has had the pendulum swung in his favour yet despite the acclaimed endorsement of some Senators-elect.
What further makes the situation looks gloomy is the dead silence of the Senators-elect of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Among PDP Senators-elect, most are still indecisive. Their silence is not only grooming, but heightening tensions all over the places.
Prodded to talk on the situation of things ahead of today, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha representing Taraba South Senatorial district confirmed that the party would take a unanimous decision on who to vote.
Speaking on reasons for PDP’s silence even in few hours to the election, the ranking lawmaker said, “there is dignity in silence.”
He further ruled out open ballot, stating that secret ballot has always been a tradition, insisting that Tuesday’s election would not be different.
With PDP having 44 Senators-elect, they play a commanding decision as to who emerges as Senate President on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, PDP had scheduled a meeting last0 inviting all Senators-elect, House of Representatives-elect and governors at the instance of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Nwike to hold at Rivers House As Okoro.
Sources close to the venue explained that the party would take a position ahead of Tuesday’s election of principal officers of the upper and lower legislative Chambers. It also said, “the party would roll out conditions for supporting any candidate especially the Senate President.”
The source added that the party became uncomfortable over the ruling APC’s decision not to allow Chairmanship of Committees to any of its member irrespective of ranking or not. It added that so many factors would shape PDP’s decision at the meeting today.