POWER SHIFT! Sen. Goje becomes important than Sen. Ndume as Lawan’s Senate President Ambition Gets New Boost

About two months to the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly, but it looks like it has already been inaugurated and the only thing remaining is the campaigning for lawmakers vying for elective posts.

All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have begun to strategise on how make sure they outshine each other as the race intensifies.

Last week, the PDP revealed that it will be having a meeting with its lawmakers on the minority positions open to it in the house.

APC continues have issues on whose decision will prevail on which of its lawmakers will be the leaders in the two chambers.

One thing remains unchanged, APC Senators vying for the post of Senate President have refused to sacrifice their ambition for each other, even as the party had already endorsed Senator Ahmad Lawan (North East) for the post.

News reports have revealed that some former governors are mounting pressure on their former colleague, Senator Danjuma Goje, who is also contesting for Senate President to accept President Muhammadu Buhari’s choice of Senator Lawan for the post.

The President is believed to have met Goje on the matter, some time last week.

The APC former governors, including some of them who are senators,  have opted to back Buhari’s decision on Lawan.

Some of the former governors include Ahmed Sani Yerima, Adamu Aliero, Abdullahi  Adamu, Aliyu Wammako, George Akume, Bukar Abba Ibrahim,  Kabiru Gaya and Godswill Akpabio.

It was gathered that the ex-governors appreciated the cautious approach adopted by Goje to his aspiration without ruffling feathers but they felt he should defer to the President.

The ex-governors have sent a delegation to Goje to reconsider  his position.

Although two of them were with Goje on Saturday for what was termed “ a social gathering”, it was unclear whether they were the ones who spoke  on behalf of their colleagues.

A former governor, who spoke with THE NATION on condition of anonymity, was quoted saying: “It is true we are trying to avoid cracks in APC over the Ninth Senate President and some of us have met on the President’s choice and how to prevail on Goje to sacrifice his aspiration. I can tell you that some of us have opened talks with him.  We are talking to him; we are mounting pressure. We also decided to send a delegation to him. As a matter of right, Goje is qualified to lead the Senate but we do not really want him to disagree with the President. And he is not a leader who believes in confrontation.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “Our intervention is just a follow-up to the audience between the President and Goje. The former governor of Gombe  State is yet to make any categorical statement on his ambition.”

Goje, it was learnt, told Buhari, who persuaded him to support Lawan, that he would “get back to him”.

“Goje has not returned to the President on what he intends to do,” a  source in the Presidency said.

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The Lawan Group is, however, waiting for Goje’s response before arranging a meeting between the two leaders.

Another source said: “Since a presidential intervention is already involved, we have deliberately asked Lawan to leave the initiative to President Buhari. The truth is that the President’s meeting with Goje underscored the enormous respect he has for the ex-governor. Lawan is ready to meet with Goje but after the elders and the ex-governors have brokered a deal.”

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THE NATION also gathered that despite the tension Lawan’s candidacy maybe generating, the Senate Leader is already forging ahead as he met yesterday with some senators-elect and pleaded with them to give him a chance.

Lawan and members of his campaign team last night met with some senators-elect in Abuja on his aspiration.

The senators-elect are in the second batch of those to benefit from the induction course which was packaged by the National Assembly management.

A source at the session quoted Lawan as saying: “Give me a chance, I will provide quality leadership, I will carry every Senator along in whatever I do.”

A Senator-elect said: “The campaign team of the Senate Leader reached out to some of us across party lines. I am new, but I am impressed by his experience on legislative business. Let us see how it goes.”

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