President Muhammadu Buhari may hold a “frank” meeting with two of the three aspirants for Senate President – Sen. Danjuma Goje and Sen. Ali Ndume — on the adoption of Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan for the office.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) is working towards a lone candidate for the job.
Lawan yesterday intensified lobbying of senators-elect from the opposition, especially those from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The main issue between the APC team and the PDP senators-elect has been the mode of voting during the inauguration of the Senate in June.
There are indications that a block vote by PDP senators may not be possible.
According to sources, the President decided to intervene in the race for Senate president to avoid APC going into the battle as a divided house.
A source, who spoke in confidence, told The Nation: “The President will meet with Goje and Ndume to explain to them the rationale behind the adoption of Lawan as the party’s candidate for Senate president.
“Some of the aspirants have claimed that Buhari has not stated where he stands on the matter. In order not to take things for granted, the President has decided to hold a frank session with Goje and Ndume.
“The meeting will hold at or before the weekend. But after the dialogue, the President and the party may then draw the battle line if the two aspirants do not want to respect the supremacy of APC.
“We hope reason will prevail and these aspirants will leave the party united.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “The Presidency and the APC are working towards the emergence of one candidate for the Office of the President of the Senate. This is the maximum Buhari and other leaders may tolerate.”
A member of Lawan’s campaign team said after the meeting with more senators-elect from the opposition, especially the PDP, the Senate Leader was trying to consolidate the gains made “by building confidence and trust”.
“There are some prejudices and fears we have succeeded in addressing to allay misgivings by our colleagues,” he said, pleading not to be named because he is not permitted to talk on the issue.
The source spoke on the mode of voting during the inauguration of the National Assembly on June 6.
“Those in APC are adamant on open voting and some senators-elect in the opposition have stuck to secret ballot system. We are confident that we shall all be on the same page before the inauguration,” he said.
PDP senators-elect are not likely to vote same way.
One said: “I think because of certain interests peculiar to some of us, block voting might be difficult for PDP. We do not have the number to dominate the Senate and if Lawan wins, those opposed to him might not get befitting committees.
“So, in casting votes for any candidate, you have to align the interest of the party with the overriding interest of your constituents who are demanding the dividends of democracy. Some of us are not going to the Senate to be bench warmers.”