Senate Presidency: The Jinx breakers
THE election of Senator Bukola Saraki as Senate President and Ike Ekweremadu as his Deputy marked the climax of one of the most intense political manipulation.
The smooth resolution at the June 1 retreat of all PDP Senators-elect at Port Harcourt to support the candidature of Saraki began the end of the horse-trading that had characterized the campaigns since March 28 when the National Assembly election took place.
Former Senate President, David Mark, had at that retreat, heartily reconciled differences with Ekweremadu over some political disquiet in their camp.
All PDP governors and other key stakeholders who had been in Abuja in the last few weeks pressing some buttons for the emergence of a PDP favoured National Assembly leadership played key roles as most law makers were promptly directed to remain in tune with party resolutions on the matter.
for the All Progressive Congress (APC) the failure to immediately wade in and nip disagreements among its Senators-elect in the bud as well as vested interests of key leaders of the party had nurtured the crisis to the level where no respite seems to be in sight.
The election of its candidates for the positions of senate President and House of Representatives Speaker last Saturday only fuelled the tension as large chunk of stakeholders boycotted the primary election that was conducted to that effect The position of a section of the APC leadership on the procedures for anointing the party’s candidate did not help the party.
Last Saturday’s election of Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila as APC candidates for Senate President and Speaker only polarized the party further.
That situation made it difficult for the APC to achieve any harmonized position even on the eve of the inauguration of the National Assembly.
The 11th hour joker pulled by the APC Senators pushing the election of Lawan as the Senate President was a very dangerous strategy, which collapsed before it could be useful. As early as 7am on Tuesday, Security men had taken over the National Assembly preventing people from gaining entry.
Suddenly messages of propaganda went round that the inauguration of the National Assembly had been put off to allow President Muhammadu Buhari meet all APC National Assembly members with a view to resolving the differences among them.
But it was gathered that all that was meant to create confusion that could halt the election and get it postponed to allow the pro-Lawan Senators in the APC re-strategize.
Unknown to them, the proclamation sent to the Clerk by the President last week was very categorical on the fact that the two chambers of the Assembly must be inaugurated not later than 10 am on Tuesday. Senators supporting Saraki from the two parties suspected deceit and moved swiftly to clarify official positions with the management of the National Assembly, after which they promptly gathered at the red chamber waiting for the Clerk of the National Assembly to come in.