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Senate presidency: Akume runs to Tinubu for help

As the race for who becomes the next Senate President heats up, contenders are running from pillar to post to ensure they get enough support to occupy the number three position in the nation.

One of the top contenders for the post, Senator George Akume, was in Lagos on Wednesday where he met with the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, at the Lagos home of Tinubu.

He may have been disappointed as feelers from the meeting suggest that Tinubu told him to shelve his ambition and support Senator Ahmed Lawan, who represents Yobe-North senatorial district in the 8th Senate.

Akume is currently the Senate Minority Leader, representing Benue-North senatorial district in the Senate. The 8th Senate will have 60 APC members while the PDP will have 48. The number of senators in the North-East is 18.

Tinubu was said to have explained to Akume that Lawan and the current Senate President, David Mark are very close and already, some members of the PDP support him.

Akume was also said to have been 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.

On his part, another contender to the post, Senator Bukola Saraki is reported to have gotten the support of 64 ranking and new senators-elect who met Wednesday at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, to endorse his candidacy.

A source who was at the meeting said that the senators backing Saraki, who is from the North-central geopolitical zone, had decided to throw their weight behind the former Kwara governor, because they want a “Senate president who is a product of the members and not imposed by a godfather.”

He said those present at the meeting comprised 19 senators elected on the platform of the PDP and 45 from the APC.

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