Some Senators-elect has begun moves to resist the attempt by the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to impose their preferred leadership candidates on the forthcoming Senate.
Recall that the ruling APC had announced Godswill Akpabio and Barau Jibrin as its preferred candidates for Senate President and Deputy Senate President, respectively.
But the lawmakers-elect have rejected the plot and forged ahead with their plans to elect their candidates, with many favouring the current Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu, and Abdulaziz Yari for the top two leadership positions.
Speaking to Daily Sun, a North-West Senator-elect described the actions of Tinubu as disappointing and provocative, stressing that Akpabio remains an unpopular candidate due to his dented image and series of betrayals.
He accused Akpabio, a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, of playing a major role in the prison incarceration of Akwa Ibom North East Senator Bassey Albert and Delta North Senator, Peter Nwaoboshi, having seen both as rivals to his Senate presidency ambition.
He stated that with Akpabio’s endorsement, Tinubu had denied other contestants the privilege of an open contest which he enjoyed.
Another third-term Senator from the Northeast disclosed that northern Senators were working across party lines to ensure revenge against Tinubu for stoking the confusion that attended the inauguration of the eighth Senate.
The lawmaker explained that the activities of Tinubu in the lead-up to the inauguration of the eighth National Assembly were being reviewed by influential political leaders from the zone, stressing that it had been discovered that the President-elect wanted to be the power behind the throne in 2015.
Also speaking, a Senator-elect from the South-South cited that in 2019 the party avoided the mistake of imposing a preferred candidate on the legislature but instead announced the zoning of the number three position to the North East which availed candidates from the region to test their popularity at the floor of the Senate in which 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.”