Senator Ahmed Lawan Saturday emerged the consensus candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the position of Senate President.
Also, Senator George Akume from Benue state emerged the Deputy Senate President during the primaries conducted by the leadership of the party at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Lawan scored 32 votes, while Akume got 31 votes. The National Secretary of APC, Mala Buni, while announcing the results said “Messrs Lawan and Akume are now the recognised candidates of the APC for the election”.
However, conspicuously absent were Lawan’s arch rival, Bukola Saraki from Kwara state and his supporters.
Earlier, both Lawan and Saraki, had signed an agreement to abide by the outcome of the primaries aimed at pushing forward a sole candidate on Tuesday when the election of the Senate leadership will be held at the inauguration of the 8th Assembly.
In a statement issued after the election, Senators loyal to Saraki under the aegis of ‘Senators-elect of Like Minds’ faulted the process that produced Lawan and Akume for the Senate leadership, insisting their candidate will participate in the election scheduled for Tuesday, 9th of June, 2015.
“We the Senators elect of Like Minds hereby insist on our position of Open Secret voting process which we believe is in consonance with the provisions of the electoral act, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the universal electoral values.
“As responsible citizens of Federal Republic of Nigeria, and leaders in our own right, we have resolved and hereby state that we shall not be part of a process that promotes undemocratic electoral process that may resort to rancorous and uncivil situations which inhibits the rights of individuals to vote for the candidate of their choice, as this process will further divide us than unite members of our party.
“In conclusion we the Senators-Elect of Like Minds wish to state categorically that we will participate only in the constitutional election scheduled for Tuesday, the 9th of June 2015 in line with the rules of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We by this press release invite the media to a joint press conference by the 65 Senators-Elect of Like Minds drawn from across party lines on Monday morning, the 8thof June 2015,” Ahmed Sani, who spoke for the group stated.