Senate Presidency: Buhari does a U- turn on promise, endorses Lawan, as crisis deepens
President Muhammadu Buhar’s choice of Senator Ahmad Lawan for the post Senate President, has futther fractured the party caucus at the National Assembly.
This contradicts Buhari’s earlier position. He had said he was not interested in who emerges. The move by Buhari has angered the camp of Senator Bukola Saraki, who believes the National Working Committee members in concert with Buhari may want Lawan who is viewed as more credible and a core northerner unlike Saraki Buhari had said two weeks ago “I am prepared to work with any leader that the House or Senate selects, “It doesn’t matter who the person is or where he or she is from “there is due process for the selection of leaders of the National Assembly, and I will not interfere in that process. 35 out of the 59 senators-elect under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, had declared their support for Saraki. He had posted the video of the endorsement on his Facebook and Twitter pages with the caption “videos don’t lie”.The APC at the General elections won majority of the 109 seats in the upper chamber. Similarly, in a statement issued by Dino Melaye, for ‘Like Minds Senators’, he said, “Senators of the like mind are here today at the retreat organized by our dear party, All Progressives Congress, which is meant to equip and empower Senators-Elect of the 8th Assembly to prepare them toward the challenges ahead. It was learnt that a meeting scheduled to decide on who takes the spot was to hold Tuesday at the International Conference Center in Abuja, was called off.
While some said the plenary was responsible for the shift to Saturday, others allege it was a ploy by the Lawan group to re strategize. In a meeting a day ago with members of the party’s NWC, President Muhammad Buhari had signaled his preference for Lawan. According to Sahara Reporters, several sources at the meeting disclosed that Buhari said he was tipping Senator Lawan because of his experience and integrity. Mr. Lawan hails from Nigeria’s violence-ravaged northeast zone. President Buhari had asked party leaders to present one candidate as a way of projecting a united front. However, it was learnt that the APC’s national chairman, Odigie Oyegun, was pushing for a primary to enable party members to choose between Saraki and Lawan. Some APC sources disclosed that Mr. Oyegun supports former Governor Saraki’s bid to emerge as the new Senate president.