Former Abia State governor and senator-elect, Orji Uzor Kalu, has claimed that 59 senators have signed up for Senate Majority Leader, Ahmed Lawal, to become president of the 9th Senate.
According the Kalu, of the 59 senators who had allegedly signed up for Lawan, 58 are senators of the All Progressives Congress (APC) while one is a senator-elect of Young Progressive Party (YPP).
Nigerian Senate has a total number of 109 Senate, and currently Lawan, and a former Majority Leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume, both from the ruling APC have officially declared their ambition to become the next Senate President when the Ninth National Assembly opens on June 11.
Ndume, like Lawan has constantly expressed optimism that he has the number to emerge as the next Senate President.
But Kalu, who spoke when the House of Representative Majority Leader and Speakership aspirant, Femi Gbajabiamila visited him in his home in Abuja on Sunday said:
“Fifty-eight senators have signed for Ahmed Lawan and when you add YPP, you have 59. But we still need other parties to join us for bipartisanship so that there will be no division in the Senate.”
On who endorsed the Majority Leader to become the next Speaker, Kalu said it was wrong to conclude that Gbajabiamila is the candidate of the national leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu because he hails from Lagos.
“There is no doubt that people have been blackmailing you. The President has told all of us collectively and individually that you are not Tinubu’s candidate. It is a mistake. You are endorsed by the Commander-in-Chief and President of Nigeria. He told us that in an open place and he told all members of the House of Representatives and members of the Senate.
“Apart from that, just on Monday (last week), I had a private session with the President and asked him what we are going to do. He said the only two people he wanted are Lawan and Gbajabiamila.
“You people can take every other thing. This is the truth. I am quoting him correctly. He said I only asked them to give me Lawan and Femi because I see them defending the interest of the party.
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“So, if Mr. President said so, it means you are not a candidate of Bola Tinubu. You are a candidate of the APC and a bipartisan candidate. You are a candidate of every party that is represented in the National Assembly,” Kalu said.
Speaking Gbajabiamila said, “We have gone round soliciting for support and that is why we are here to seek your support and blessing.”
Kalu, from South-East zone, is among those who want to become Deputy Senate President.
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