Ex-Kwara governor shuns Ndume, Goje, others
Plans to get Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators-
elect and members of the House of Representatives-elect
to vote en bloc for principal officers during today’s
inauguration of the Eighth National Assembly collapsed
There was also a split among the PDP governors on who
to support between Senator Ahmed Lawan and Senator
Bukola Saraki for Senate president.
But The Nation learnt this morning that at a meeting of
PDP Senators-elect in Abuja, 28 agreed to back Saraki/
Ike Ekweremadu ticket; 17 agreed to back Lawan/Akume
ticket. That was after Saraki decided to work with PDP in
a desperate move to win the race.
Some senators and members-elect rejected the
suggestion by Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose that
PDP senators should vote Saraki.
Lawan at the weekend emerged the choice candidate of
the All Progressives Congress (APC) after a mock election
by the party’s senators-elect. But the Saraki camp
rejected the straw poll and vowed to contest for the
position on the floor today.
The APC is the majority party in the Senate, with 59
senators-elect. The PDP has 49 senators.
It was learnt that at a meeting held by the PDP caucus on
Sunday night in former Senate President David Mark’s
residence in Apo, Abuja, the divided PDP senators-elect
and their governors were said to have threatened to draft
one of them into the race if the APC failed to agree on a
Some of the PDP senators said to be rooting for Saraki
allegedly suggested that they should forge a vibrant
opposition on Tuesday by voting against the APC
consensus choice as a signal of what form of opposition
to expect in the Senate in the new dispensation.
The PDP senators were said to have contended that
voting against APC’s preferred candidate would signpost
a resolute stand to keep the PDP alive.
A source at the meeting said a former principal officer in
the Seventh Senate was the brain behind the proposal.
The source said most of the senators disagreed
vehemently with the suggestion.
Those opposed to the suggestion, it was learnt, averred
that toeing the line of action would only serve the interest
of a few, particularly the governors, rather than that of the
PDP as a party.
The source noted that most of the senators agreed that
“we should wait and see what the APC senators will come
He said: “The surprise of the night was that some of the
governors who former President Goodluck Jonathan
laboured to install were those at the vanguard of the
Saraki project, a man who practically destroyed PDP.
“Most senators at the meeting viewed supporting Saraki
as robbing Peter to pay Paul.
“They contended that it will be bad politics to reward a
man who took up arms against his party, destroyed it and
moved to build another one.”
The meeting was said to have ended without the Senators
taking a final decision on who to back for Senate