The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC will be faced with the crucial task of securing victory in the coming election of principal officers of the National Assembly as the election approaches.
After the swearing in of President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, May 29 for a second term in office, attention has shifted to the coming election of the National Assembly leadership.
The race for the leadership of the National Assembly has intensified as the federal lawmakers prepare for the proclamation of the 9th Assembly and their inauguration.
The race for the office of the President of the 9th Senate took a new turn yesterday as the Presidency openly indicated interest in approaching the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to support the Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan who is in the race for the post.
According to The Guardian, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Solomon Ita Enang, a former senator himself, who represented the Presidency at the open declaration of Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP, Delta North) for Lawan, was full of thanks to the lawmaker, saying: “I thank you for the support, you are welcome.”
Ita-Enang, in a warm embrace with Nwaoboshi, declared: “It was equally learnt that a former president of the Senate had before yesterday asked some PDP lawmakers still loyal to him to support Lawan’s aspiration. 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.
“During his own declaration for Lawan at the National Assembly, yesterday, Nwaoboshi, who just got his election to the Senate re-validated by the Appeal Court, announced that the PDP had no candidate for the Senate Presidency and its leadership would not direct its elected senators to vote for any particular candidate for the position of the 9th Senate President.
According to him, the best the PDP leadership would do is to give the elected members of the incoming senate the direction to follow, but not to necessarily impose a candidate on them. He said: “The PDP has not taken a decision, as a political party, as far as the presiding officers of the 9th Senate is concerned. Our party has not also told us the candidate we should vote for.
“I know the PDP leaders will not say this is the candidate they want; they would only give us a guideline. I also have a right, as the representative of my people, to determine what is good for the Anioma people. I am a loyal PDP man. I have not left the PDP and it is not part of my agenda to do. However, regarding the leadership of the 9th Senate, I know my people would be happy with my choice of Lawan. My people know what they benefitted from the support I gave the incumbent Senate President.
“I can make a choice on my people’s behalf, because I have lived among them over the years.”
Nwaoboshi dismissed insinuations that his challenger at the Appeal Court, Ned Nwoko, would present the Certificate of Return issued to him by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be inaugurated as senator on June 11, saying: “Once the election has been declared and the Certificate of Return issued to the winner, it is only the highest court in the land that can order the withdrawal of the certificate.
“I have my Certificate of Return; nobody has withdrawn it. What was issued to Nwoko was a piece of paper and not a Certificate of Return. I was the one that contested the election, having defeated him in the primaries.”
Nwoko may still proceed to the Supreme Court to challenge the victory of Nwaoboshi at the Court of Appeal. However, no one knows his next move step on the issue for now.
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