*As Tension Over Office Sharing Dissolves

*Senate Adjourns Sitting Till July 21

The tension enveloping the Senate over leadership position in the past two weeks, came down dramatically on Thursday as the Senate President, Bukola Saraki announced the nomination of candidates from across the zones for available principal offices.

The plenary had hardly commenced when Saraki announced that the zones of North East, North West, South West, and South South had nominated Senators to fill the vacant positions through letters he received from them.

The turn of events has indicated that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has finally been sidelined in the process of electing leaders for the Senate.

A mock election was held by the Saraki led group last night where candidates for the post were selected and proposed to feel the vacant Senate positions.

Saraki, during the plenary announced that Senators Ali Ndume, Ibn Na’Allah, Shola Adeyeye and Francis Alimikanah had been nominated as Senate Leader, Deputy Senate Leader, Senate Whip and Deputy Whip respectively.

However, a member of the opposition, Senator Kabiru Marafa, (Zamfara Central) attempted to prevent Saraki from reading the letters from the zones nominating candidates for the posts.

Raising Order 28 (1) and section 65 (1) (b) of the Nigerian constitution, Marafa said Saraki had no moral justification to read the letters from the Zones on the basis of his failure to read a similar letter from the All Progressives Congress (APC) already sent to him.

Ali Ndume

The point of order raised by Marafa was to establish that The Senate President breached Senate Rule and the constitution of Nigeria by shunning the wish of the party on election of candidates for Senate Posts.

Marafa’s position was immediately countered by Senator Danjuma Gone who urged the Senate President to Stand by the decision reached the previous legislative day that it is the Senate and the party that should elect its officers.

He said precedence had been set on the issue since 1999 with caucuses nominating members for elective Senate positions and not political parties.

He said in 2011 when he was actively involved in the process of electing the Senate leadership, two candidates; Abdul Ningi and Ali Ndume contested Senate leadership, while Ningi was elected by members.

Saraki had to rule Marafa out of order, while upholding the position canvassed by Danjuma Goje.

The turn of events has thus indicated that the efforts by APC to nominate candidates for the Senate leadership positions have come to naught.

Meanwhile, Ndume in his acceptance speech thanked his colleagues for what he described as the honour done to him.

He promised to live by the schedule of his office which involves serving as a liaison between the Senate Committees and other functionaries as well as making the schedules for the Senate operations.

The Senate has, however, sworn in two Committees on Finance and Legislative Agenda saddled with the task of directing the smooth take off of the 8th Senate.

The Senate had to adjourn Sittings till July 21, in order to enable the committees gain time to perform the tasks assigned to them