Senate Principal Officers: Much ado about nothing

By Post Nigeria May 2, 2015 12:24

Senate Principal Officers: Much ado about nothing

There is no doubt that Nigeria’s political atmosphere is charged due to the tussle of who succeeds Senator David Mark as the Senate President owing to the aftermath of the 2015 general elections which produced members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the majority in the Senate.

As the duel to be Mark’s successor rages on, there has been much lobbying and endorsements since it was learnt or even rumoured that APC had zoned the slot to the North-central and later to the North-east though this is still subject to ratification by the party’s National Executive Council, NEC.

Party chieftains and other stakeholders have been throwing their weight behind interested candidates and this has heightened the stake.

The frontrunners in the race are Senator Bukola Saraki from Kwara State and Senator George Akume from Benue. The duo have their supporters and of course those who vehemently oppose their ambition. They have many things in common especially that they were former Governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP but there’s a dark horse now as reports have it that Ahmed Lawan from Yobe in the North-east region has joined the race.

Lawan is towing the line that the North-east has been marginalised and as such he more than anyone else is deserving of the ability to wield the mace as it were.

In the midst of this furor Senator Ali Ndume representing Borno South has said that the next upper Legislative Chamber should look for a Senate President rather than a ‘Senators’ President’, which the nation has been saddled with in recent times, according to him.

He lamented that the nation’s upper legislative chamber had fallen short of the expectations of most Nigerians, including Senators, saying the Senate had become boring.

Speaking with newsmen in Maiduguri on Tuesday April 28, Ndume said it was only fair that the North-east, especially Borno or Yobe State be allowed to lead the 8th Senate as it had never been given such responsibility.

This has almost effectively made the tussle for the Senate leadership a fight between regions, with the North central chieftains, comprising of Senators and Governors, arguing that the leadership be zoned to them, while the North-east has cried foul, claiming it has been marginalized.

Those championing the cause of zoning the leadership to each region have tried to sell the idea that the Senate Presidency is of a special benefit to the region and not necessarily a position that benefits the nation as a whole.