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Buhari Tinubu

Ndume, Onyejeocha on Saraki’s familiar part to shock APC’s NASS leadership plan?

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…As Orji Uzo Kanu blows hot on Deputy Senate President’s slot for S’East

It is still about two months to the resumption of the 9th National Assembly and both day and night scheming have continued to criss-cross both the party and regional divides in build up to the new leadership structure.
Already, there are fears that if like in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari fails to be interested in the emergence of NASS leadership, his second term may pay dearly more than what happened in the last close to four year in executive-legislature relationship.
Just as all the unfolding scenarios are emerging; there is another window of smart move that may be taken by the PDP at the dying minute in the race to Senate Presidency.
Watch this: APC has 65 Senators, PDP has 43 but there are confirmed 13 APC Senators who are indifferent to the anointing of Ahmed Lawan. With strategic alliance, this number (13) may team up with PDP’s 43 to swing Senate Presidency to either Ndume of a yet to be unveiled PDP influential senator as their joint efforts and votes will hit 56 leaving the ruling party at s65 – 13 = 52.
Recall that the ruling party got entangled in NASS and mainly Senate leadership at the Presidential Villa while Senator Saraki engulfed the chambers with his political ingenuity and emerged as the Senate President to the surprise of the APC caucus meeting that was even going on at the Villa and it stood till today.
From the lower house where some groups are positioning Abia State born Amazon and highest ranking House Member form the South East, Hon. Nkiru Onyejeocha there seems to have emerged a known consensus candidate in Lagos State’s Femi Gbajabiamila.
However, Onyejeocha group of supporters say she remains a perfect fit for the Office of the Speaker of the Federal House Of Representatives because of her political maturity and experience, fearlessness, sense of belonging to the South East, consummate democrat and true party member after all.
In the Red Chambers, serious camping and decamping of supports are still horse-trading but indoors.
Trouble had started for the race of Senate President when the ruling party chairman, Adams Oshiomhole announced openly at a recent caucus meeting in Abuja that Senate Leader, Ahmed To Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, the announcement of Lawan’s adoption by APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole shocked the party’s senators-elect during a dinner with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ndume, at a media briefing in his Abuja residence, alleged that the choice of Lawan by Oshiomhole was done without any consensus and made it clear that the election of 9th Senate President is still open to all senator-elect.
Analysts say such posture and courage are enough for pro-Ndume group to open up secret discussions with outgoing Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki oiling and facilitating the PDP senators and others from minority parties to vote in Ndume as Senate President.
A former Abia State Governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has said that unless the ruling All Progressives Congress makes him the Deputy President of the 9th Senate, he will fight to become the Senate President.
He said this while indicating his interest to contest for the position of Deputy Senate President in the soon-to-be constituted 9th National Assembly.
Kalu also wants the APC to zone the position to the South-East “in the interest of equity and justice.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Abia North Senator-elect spoke with newsmen on Wednesday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
He noted that he was aware that the APC, which has the majority in the forthcoming Senate, has zoned the Senate presidency to the North-East and the Deputy Senate President to the North-West.
Kalu said: “I’m a very loyal party man. The party has zoned the Senate presidency to the North-East and I want to respect the party’s will; but the second position is what we are not going to allow to leave the South-East.
“So, as far as I’m concerned, in the South-East, I’m going to run openly on the floor of the House for the position of Deputy Senate President.
“I am not going to listen to the party, neither will I listen to anybody. Nobody that wants to be the Deputy Senate President is more loyal than I am to the party.
“I have suffered for the party and have been called by Nigerians to come out. I want the party to respect the will of every other person and I’m committed to democracy and contesting on the floor of the House.”
According to him, Articles One and 50 of the Constitution make it clear that members of the National Assembly in-house can elect their principal officers.
He said it was only fair that the position is retained in the South-East, stressing that both President Muhammadu Buhari and APC chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, are well aware of this.
“So, if justice must prevail, you have to bring the Senate President from the North-East and you bring the Deputy Senate President to the South-East.
“The chairman of the party is from South-South. The President is from North-West. The Vice-President is from South-West and also the Senate President will come from North-East.
“Whether it is Senators Ahmed Lawal or Alli Ndume, this will be decided on the floor of the House.
“So, for me, the tripod in Nigeria is Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa; and we are going to get the deputy Senate president and I will fight on the floor of the House like no other person has fought.
“That is not challenging the party but this is about looking for justice. Buhari said recently after the elections that he will be addressing issues of injustice and this is part of the issue,” Kalu said.

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