President Muhammad Buhari has finally come out to declare his preference for Senator Ahmed Lawan as the new Senate President, according to sources who attended a meeting between the president and members of the National Working Committee of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Our sources said Mr. Buhari disclosed his preference during a meeting late last night with the NWC members at Aso Rock.
“The president explained to us that the North Central part of Nigeria has held the Senate Presidency for long enough. He therefore disclosed that the post should be allowed to move to another geo-political zone,” one source at the meeting told SaharaReporters.
In pushing for Mr. Lawan as the next Senate President, Mr. Buhari reportedly stated that, since the North East zone gave the party the second largest number of votes in Nigeria’s recent general elections, the zone should be allowed to produce the premier position at the upper legislative chamber.
One source added that the president also contended that it was important to entrust the Senate presidency with a person who is both a long-serving senator and a person of impressive personal attributes.
Our sources disclosed that those who attended the party meeting translated Mr. Buhari’s position as translating into a big setback for Bukola Saraki, who has been working to mobilize support to be elected as the new Senate President. “We now know that Mr. President does not favor Senator Saraki as the new Senate president,” one of them stated.
Our sources said the president ended the meeting by asking the NWC to convene a meeting of party legislators and leaders to choose a single candidate the Senate presidency no later than tomorrow.
SaharaReporters learned that the leadership of the APC has convened a meeting to be held at the International Conference Center in Abuja tomorrow.
The party’s national chairman, Odigie Oyegun, who is said to be leaning towards Mr. Saraki for the Senate position, is reportedly unhappy about President Buhari’s position preference. One party source revealed that Mr. Oyegun would want the party to hold a primary election to choose its Senate presidential candidate.
One of our sources said the APC’s national leader, Bola Tinubu, was also backing Mr. Lawan for the post of president of the Senate.