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 Akume, Tinubu meet in Lagos over Senate presidency

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PostSubject: Akume, Tinubu meet in Lagos over Senate presidency   2015-04-30, 03:57

One of the top contenders for the
Senate presidency, Senator George
Akume, and the national leader of
the All Progressives Congress,
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday
met at the Lagos home of Tinubu.
Our correspondent learnt that at
the meeting which took place
around 3pm, Tinubu told Akume to
shelve his ambition and support
Senator Ahmed Lawan, who
represents Yobe-North senatorial
district in the 8th Senate.
The battle for the Senate
presidency was between the
North-East and the North-Central.
Akume, who is currently the Senate
Minority Leader, represents Benue-
North senatorial district in the
Senator Bukola Saraki, who
represents Kwara-Central
senatorial district in the North-
Central geopolitical zone, had also
openly expressed his intention to
contest the number three seat in
the country.
However, it was learnt that the
leadership of the APC finally
decided to zone the Senate
presidency to the North-East
following ‘fresh developments’.
A reliable source in the APC told our
correspondent that Lawan had
already been backed by the current
Senate President, David Mark, and
other members of the Peoples
Democratic Party.
He said, “Tinubu explained to
Akume that Lawan and Senator
Mark are very close and already,
some members of the PDP support
him. Lawan has a good track record
in the Senate and has been backed
by almost all the senators in the
North-East who feel the zone has
been seriously marginalised.
“The catch there is that if the APC
members in the Senate do not
support Lawan and he wins the
Senate presidency with bloc votes
from the PDP and his friends in the
North-East, he will be loyal to the
PDP and may sideline us just as the
Speaker of the House of
Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal,
attributed his victory to the APC
back in 2011 even though he was a
member of the PDP.
“Mark will definitely do everything
possible to ensure that Akume does
not emerge Senate President if we
pick Akume because they are not
on good terms. Tinubu told Akume
that he sacrificed his presidential
ambition for the sake of the party.
“Tinubu, therefore, urged Akume to
settle for the Deputy Senate
presidency or Senate Majority
The 8th Senate will have 60 APC
members while the PDP will have
48. The number of senators in the
North-East is 18.
The source said Akume was also
asked to step down because the
North-Central, where he hails from,
had been holding the Senate
presidency since 2007 while the
North-East had never presided over
the upper chamber of the National
Assembly since independence.
He added that giving the North-East
the seat would also be a way of
rewarding them for giving the APC
the second highest number of
votes during the presidential
He said, “The current Senate
president is from Benue State and
has been in charge for eight years.
Would it be fair to also handover
the Senate presidency to another
person from Benue?
“The President-elect, Muhammadu
Buhari, got more than 2.5 million
votes from the North-East and this
should be rewarded.”
It was learnt that Lawan, who just
won a third term in office, had
already been accepted by those
close to the President-elect
because he was among those who
led Buhari’s presidential campaign
in the then All Nigeria Peoples
Party in 2007 in Yobe State.
The source told our correspondent
that a committee comprising
Tinubu’s wife, Senator Oluremi
Tinubu; Senator Babafemi Ojudu,
Senator Gbenga Ashafa and Senator
Ajayi Boroffice had been set up to
meet with the aggrieved parties.
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