Battle for leadership of c’ttees, ministerial list’s screening top agenda as Senate resumes tomorrow

AFTER 29 days of break to allow for allocation of offices and the Sallah celebration, senators are expected to resume tomorrow to face the challenges of legislating for the country and ensuring good governance for Nigerians.

Recall that soon after Senator Akpabio emerged President  of  the  Senate  on Tuesday, June 13, he set up a15- member welfare committee, led by Senator  Isah Jibrin, APC,  Kogi East, to  allocate offices and seats at the hallowed chamber in accordance  with the Standing Orders and ranking.

As senators resume tomorrow, the fight for those to become the principal  officers for both the majority and minority parties would now be taken to the National  Assembly.

Though the issue of who become the principal  officers is purely  a party affair, recent  developments  have shown both internal and external  influence in the matter, just as what played  out in the  case of House of Representatives  in the 9th National  Assembly  when the Peoples  Democratic  Party, PDP wrote to the then speaker, Femi Gbajiabiamila, submitting the name  of Chinda Kingsley, but the speaker tricked the PDP and announced  Ndudi Elumelu as the minority  leader.

In the Senate,  the principal office positions for the ruling All  Progressives  Congress,  APC, are the majority  leader; chief whip; deputy leader; and  deputy whip, while the opposition  parties  have the minority leader; minority whip; deputy minority leader and deputy minority whip.

With the inauguration  of the 10th Senate,  the ruling APC has 59 senators; PDP, 36; Labour Party, LP, eight; New Nigeria  Peoples  Party, NNPP, two; Social  Democratic  Party, SDP, two; and  All Progressives  Grand Alliance,  APGA and  Young Progressives  Party, YPP, one each.

With the composition, the six opposition  political  parties have altogether  50 senators as against APC’s 59.

It is expected that the APC would forward  to  the Senate, names of the principal  officers and those  in the race for the Senate  leader are former Senate leader, Senator  Ali Ndume, APC, Borno South; Senator Opeyemi  Bamidele,  APC, Ekiti  Central; and Senator  Abdulfatai Buhari, APC, Oyo North.

In the case of the Minority  leader, it is a battle of wit between the PDP, former Vice Presidential  and the party’s presidential candidate  in the  February 25 election,  Atiku Abubakar on one hand and the immediate  past governor  of Rivers State, Nyesom  Wike, on the other.