The race for the Senate Presidency of the 10th National Assembly has taken a contentious turn as former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, has refused to step down for former minister and ex-governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio.
Bellnewsonline.com reports that this has sparked a fresh crisis among senators and senators-elect, particularly within the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Reports suggest that Yari’s decision to defy the persuasion of President-elect Bola Tinubu, who is reportedly pushing for Akpabio’s choice as Senate President, is creating a rift among the contenders.
The source said that “The President-elect summoned Ndume and asked him to step down for Akpabio in the interest of national cohesion, fairness and religious balancing which he obliged.
“He also insisted that Ndume should be in the frontline to deliver Akpabio as the next Senate president. That’s how we started collecting signatures. Efforts to get the former governor of Zamfara State to step down failed.”
Bellnewsonline.com understands that nine candidates are vying for the position, and the winner will be inaugurated on June 13, 2023.
In addition to Yari and Akpabio, Senator Ali Ndume is also a front-runner for the Senate Presidency. However, Ndume reportedly dropped his ambition to support the Akpabio/Barau ticket at the behest of the president-elect.
Bellnewsonline.com earlier reported that former Senate Leader Senator Ali Ndume, Chairman of Senate Appropriation Committee Senator Jubrin Barau, and outgoing Governor of Ebonyi State Dave Umahi announced that they had agreed upon a consensus candidate in the interest of peace and national interest.
The trio also revealed that the meeting had resolved to present Barau as the Deputy President of the next National Assembly.
According to Ndume, “ We have all deferred to our brother to fly the flag of the APC as Senate President of the 10th National Assembly. We know he has the capacity to lead the Red Chamber of the federal legislature.”
Umahi said, “Akpabio came on consultation with me but yesterday, I saw the President-elect, Bola Tinubu on his invitation and he told me that he’s already committed.
“He said, Please don’t run and I accepted to step down for Senator Akpabio for Senate President and Senator Barau for Deputy Senate President.”