South East Senate Presidency Suffers Setback As Tinubu Rejects Anointing Candidate
The ongoing bid by the South East geopolitical zone to produce the Senate President in the coming Senate may have suffered setback as President-elect, Bola Tinubu, has rejected any idea of anointing a candidate.
Presidents usually anoint and push a candidate to emerge as Senate President in order to have a harmonious working relationship.
Since Nigeria returned to democracy, every president has had to ensure whoever emerged as Senate President shared his aspiration.
The party with the highest number of elected senators usually produces the Senate president and is often chosen before a presidential letter convening the assembly to set the tone for the next assembly is held.
NewsNGR reports that there was a sharp departure in 2015 when a protracted negotiation in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, led to the emergence of Bukola Saraki, as against the party’s wish.
Saraki, who few years had defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, while he was governor of Kwara State clinched the number three position in the land when he teamed up with the opposition PDP to emerge as Senate President.
The negotiations with the PDP led to the emergence of Ike Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President even though he was of the PDP.
It led to a frosty relationship between the red chamber and the executive with most bills suffering passage even as key executive bills experienced sluggish passage.
Things turned out differently when Ahmad Lawan became Senate President and his Deputy, Ovie Omo-Agege, from the same party complemented his leadership.
Although accused of being a rubber stamp, Lawan’s 9th Assembly has witnessed a cosy relationship between the executive and the lawmakers.
Tinubu has, until Monday, been credited to have preferred a balancing act where the head of the second highest organ of government in the land come from the Southeast even if perhaps for accomodation and to dispel accusation of marginalisation.
But that position has now changed with revelation on Monday evening that the president-elect has no preference for anyone in particular.
According to a member-elect for Bungudu/Maru Federal Constituency of Zamfara State, Abdulmalik Bungudu, consultation is ongoing even as the decision to that effect would not be made by Tinubu.
Bungudu was speaking after the meeting with new members-elect to the National Assembly in Abuja.
Tinubu however did not attend the meeting and no explanation was provided but he was represented by Vice President-Elect, Kashim Shettima, who told the gathering of the president-elect’s position.
“For now, he (Tinubu) said he doesn’t have anybody that he prefers to have as Senate President or Speaker, but consultations are going to continue to get the way out for the party and to also ensure the party emerges victorious in the forthcoming governorship and Houses of Assembly elections,” he said.