Posted by News Express | 9 June 2015 | 2,687 times
Former governor of Kwara State, Senator Bukola Saraki, minutes ago sprang a surprise this morning when he emerged as President of the 8th Senate. The experienced All Progressives Congress (APC) Senator was elected unopposed by the 57 lawmakers present at the inauguration of the upper chamber – most of them of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Saraki was nominated by Sani Yerima (Zamfara) and seconded by Dino Melaye (Kogi), trouncing Senator Ahmed Lawan, the preferred candidate of the new ruling party, APC.
It was a coup by another name, as the bulk of APC Senators were away at the International Conference Centre, waiting in vain for President Muhammadu Buhari, who was expected to meet with them in a last-minute bid to reconcile the warring factions in the party.
In another departure from what Nigerians are used to, an opposition party (PDP) produced the Deputy Senate President, with Senator Ike Ekweremadu retaining the position after defeating APC’s Senator Ali Ndume. In yet another surprising development, PDP also produced the Senate Leader in the person of immediate past Senate President David Mark.
Saraki, who vehemently refused to step down as demanded by APC leaders, had been earlier adopted by PDP, which also adopted Hon. Yakubu Dogara for the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, instead of Femi Gbajabiamila, the chosen candidate of APC.
The inauguration of the 8th Assembly had earlier been announced postponed as a result of the logjam in APC about the choice of the principal officers. Security operatives had sealed off the entrance to the National Assembly earlier in the morning but later allowed entry, a situation which created a perfect condition for the coup that produced Saraki as the third most powerful person in the country.
•Photo shows Senate President Bukola Saraki.
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