Ahead of the coming election of the principal officers of the National Assembly, more political intrigues are playing out as the aspirants mobilise for support across political divides.
Surprisingly, candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has received support from some lawmakers of the main opposition party just as the D-Day for the contest draws nearer. This came as Senator Peter Nwaoboshi declared support for Sen. Ahmad Lawan’s Senate Presidency bid. Lawan is the candidate endorsed by the ruling APC for the post of the Senate President in the coming 9th Senate.
According to PM News, Nwaoboshi(PDP-Delta) made this known while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Friday. He said from his assessment of all the contenders for the position, Lawan had better credentials.
“In 2015, I made my support clear that I was going to support the incumbent Senate President even before other persons came to join and my prediction came to pass.I have called you people again this year to make my position clear because I believe that after the election,what should’ve paramount on my minds is Nigeria. Not party, not religious affiliation but what we think is good for Nigeria. To that extent I have been thinking, I have been watching all the aspirants and many of them have come to consult with me, speak with me on phone, visited me personally both on the chamber and outside the chamber.
“So, I feel it is necessary for me to make my position clear so that some of these questions people are asking can be resolved. Now this is my personal position. When I believe in a cause, I would always work to want to advance that cause. For the Senate presidency, I have made it clear to my friends that I will support Sen. Ahmad Lawan for the presidency of the 9th Senate,” he said.
He said his decision was informed by Lawan’s competence, intelligence and ability to carry others along irrespective of party affiliation or ethnicity. “It is for the following reasons. I have found out that Sen. Lawan has been in the senate for the past 20 years and as such he has gathered a lot of legislative experience in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.
“The president of the senate is the chairman of the national assembly who ought to understand the workings of both chambers and Lawan has experience from both chambers. Also as a leader, I found in him competence, intelligence and he appreciates the views of others and he listens to better arguments.Any leader who is going to preside on that chamber must be able to accommodate other persons and must be intelligent. Make no mistakes, I never supported him in the 8th senate and I had my reasons but I also believe that in this one I am making a good choice in supporting him,” he said.
He cautioned against unguarded statements that might affect the goodwill the senators-elect had for Lawan, adding that it was their prerogative to choose their leaders.
Nwaoboshi stressed that the legislature had its mechanism for choosing and removing its leaders, advising that rather than handing down instructions, stakeholders ought to consult with the lawmakers to be. He said, “I must give kudos to the APC Deputy Chairman, North, Distinguished Sen. Shuaibu. He made a statement that is consoling, saying leadership must consult and negotiate not to sit in your house and say it must be this person. Nobody is a child.”
“That is why you see that even those who support Lawan are withdrawing especially within my party. In as much as we agree that whoever is going to be senate president will come from your party, it is not for you to tell us is this person or he will never have anything to do with us.
That is not statesmanly. We are going to choose our leader and when we found out that the person is no longer serving the Nigerian people, we have our own mechanism. “The senate is made up of men who have distinguished themselves in their various careers. So you do not sit in your office or in your high heaven and dictate to them who is going to be their leader. Most of the resistance that people are seeing especially in my own party. It is not because someone is questioning Lawan’s competence that he does not have the experience or intelligence.
“The senate should be left to choose their leader.”
On his victory at the Court of Appeal, Nwaoboshi said he was confident of winning, adding that, “I knew that judgement will not stand.”
He assured that should the matter go up to the Supreme Court, he was sure of victory.
Also, the Guardian reports that another PDP lawmaker known to have openly supported Lawan is the former interior minister, Abba Moro (PDP, Benue South), who at a strategic meeting in Abuja, disclosed that he was working for Lawan.
Sen. Ahmad Lawan(APC-Yobe) and Sen. Ali Ndume(APC-), both from the North East, have publicly indicated interest in running for senate president in the 9th assembly.
They have both been carrying out consultations across parties to garner support for the race.
But, Senator Danjuma Goje(APC-Gombe) has been asked by some interest groups to publicly declare interest in the race, though he is yet to do so. No one really knows if Goje is running or not but he has been getting support from groups for the post of the Senate President.
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