Indications have emerged that Senator Ahmed Lawan and Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila will lead the 8th Session of the National Assembly as Senate President and House of Representatives Speaker, as they are most set to emerge during the elections for NASS officials scheduled for Tuesday.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) had offered assistance in conducting mock election for the new leadership of the National Assembly on Saturday, as Senators converged at the International Conference Center for the primary.
With the slant of voting in the two meetings the APC leadership held with the law makers, it was apparent that supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari were fully in support of the emergence of Lawan as Senate President and Gbajabiamila for the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The process started earlier in the day when an APC member from Surulere 1, Lagos emerged winner of the mock election as he defeated Yakubu Dogara (Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa, Bauchi State) by 154 votes to 3.
Displeased with the outcome of the election, Dogara stormed out of the International Conference Centre along with 19 of his supporters in a seeming protest.
Spokesman for his group, Abdulmumin Jibrin said the primary election has no place in the APC constitution.
Not long after, three of Dogara’s supporters retraced their steps and joined the rest of their colleagues.
However, the APC National Secretary, Mallam Mai Mala Buni told newsmen that not less than 183 members had signed the attendance register at the International Conference Center meeting.
Later in the night, Senator Ahmed Lawam emerged from the election conducted for Senators to pick their leaders as he rode on the crest of support offered by his group “Unity Forum” to clink victory.
Lawan polled 32 votes out of the 33 votes cast by the Senators present as 1 vote was declared invalid.
Senator George Akume, on the other hand emerged the Deputy Senate President candidate of the party with 31 votes.
Like it happened in the election for House of Representatives members, the Bukola Saraki faction of “Like Minds” stayed away from the APC’s meeting with legislators at the International Conference Center.
In a protest letter signed by Dino Melaye, the group said, “Regrettably, the Unity Forum insisted on open ballot voting which we discovered is different from the electoral process used to conduct the earlier election with the House of Representatives members elect.
“To us, this open ballot voting is primitive, undemocratic and against universal electoral norms and practise, “it said.
“As responsible citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and leaders in our own right, we have resolved and hereby state that we shall not be part of a process that promotes undemocratic electoral process that may resort to rancorous and uncivil situations which inhibits the rights of individuals to vote for the candidate of their choice, as this process will further divide us than unite members of our party, “it said.
On his part, Lawan in his acceptance speech said, “I’m saddened by the absence of our colleagues at the other camp, this is not a victory for the Unity Forum, we need to bring together, every APC Senators-Elect and those in the chamber”.
He said there is also the need to reach out to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senator’s adding that the goal was to have a senate that is stable working on consensus building that will bring real change for Nigerians.
“We want to see a senate that wil always be bipartisan in its approach and the task is ours in APC because this is our government.
“I want to assure Nigerians that as Chairman of the National Assembly If I become the Senate President from Tuesday, will be a legislature that is for Nigerians, “he said.
Rabiu Kwankwanso, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, George Akume, Adamu Aliero, Ajayi Borrofice, Gemade Barnabas, Adamu Abdullahi, Jide Omoworare, Abu Ibrahim, Bayero Nafada, Gbenga Ashafa, Sola Adeyeye, Abdullahi Abubakar Gumel, Suleiman Hunkuyi, Ahmed Barau Jibrin, and Isiaka Adeleke.
Others were Kabiru Gaya, Nazif Suleiman, Nafada Ibrahim, Oluremi Tinubu, Shehu Sani, Solomon Olamilekan, Kabiru Marafa, Lanre Tejuoso, Fatai Buhari, Monsurat Sunmonu, Soji Akanbi, Bala Na’Allah, Gbolahan Dada, Umaru Kurfi , Abdulaziz Murtala Nyako, and Mustapha Sani.