The focus of Nigerians has been on the National Assembly since it became obvious that Senate President Bukola Saraki will not be returning as a Senator in the incoming Ninth Senate.
Saraki’s defeat pitches the Senate Presidency seat back to the All Progressives Congress (APC) which still has majority in the house.
APC Senators contesting for Saraki’s seat are Senators Ahmed Lawan (Yobe), Ali Ndume (Borno), Danjuma Goje (Gombe), following the party’s zoning of the seat to North-East.
The APC leadership’s endorsement of Sen. Lawan has caused heated arguments among party ranks, even by Senators-elect in the house but Saraki’s silence over who will succeed him has also not gone unnoticed.
But in a bold move yesterday, the senate president cautioned his colleagues against the enthronement of a weak National Assembly in Nigeria.
Saraki stated this yesterday when he received the Arewa Online Publishers’ Forum, at his office in Abuja.
He stated this as returning and new lawmakers prepare to elect a new leadership in June.
According to him, without a strong parliament and principle of separation of powers among the three arms of government, Nigeria cannot move forward.
He said: “As long as our parliament is strong, Nigeria will be stronger. I think it is important that we lay a solid foundation to strengthen our democracy.”
The Senate President noted with satisfaction that the media has been playing an important role in ensuring the survival of democracy.
“You have responsibility to ensure that individual interest gives room for collective interest for a better Nigeria for all”, Saraki said.
It is quite obvious that APC’s endorsement of Lawan for Senate Presidency and Femi Gbajabiamila for Speakership of the incoming Ninth Assembly will not hold, even though they will be facing opposition during election for principal officers, there are also moves to stop their emergence by those uncomfortable with the endorsement.
It would be recalled that a similar scenario played out in 2015 when Saraki and Yakubu Dogara emerged despite the party’s insistence on Lawan and Gbajabiamila.
The duo are currently Senate Leader and House of Representatives Leader respectively, with Lawan succeeding Senator Ali Ndume, who is now challenging him for the number three position in the country.
Lawan’s opposition is not only Ndume, who has also intensified his campaign, even engaging PDP senators, using his influence as a former member of the party but his greatest challenger could be Senator Goje, who has refused to official declare his ambition but is said to also have an eye on the post and working in the background to clinch the seat.
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