By Nuel Suji, Abuja.
Ten senators elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC from the north-east on Friday rejected the candidacy of Senator Ahmad Lawan ( APC Yobe North) as the consensus candidate for the position.
However, 20 APC senators from the North West, endorsed Lawan’s candidacy for the position at the end of a caucus meeting held at Sheraton Hotels and Towers on Thursday night.
But senator Danjuma Goje ( Gombe Central) who led North East APC Senators to a press conference in Abuja Friday stated that no zone would be allowed to impose candidate on them.
Goje said as far as they are concerned from the North East, they are still pleading with party leadership to officially zone the position to them , after which whoever that will emerge as consensus candidate will be decided by them and not by any other zone.
He explained that at a caucus meeting held by the senators at the Kaduna room of Transcorp Hilton Hotel on Thursday night which had Ahmad Lawan himself in attendance, that the caucus should be allowed in consultation with the party leadership to nominate their preferred candidate for the position.
He said: ‘ On Thursday night at the Kaduna room of Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, 12 out of the 13 APC Senators – elect from the North East, met and resolved as follows- (1), that North East APC senators’ caucus for the 8th Senate have been put on ground, ( ii) that the zone is appealing to the APC highest hierarchy to zone the highest position in the National Assembly, that is, the position of Senate President to the zone in view of its peculiar circumstances and (ii), that the caucus should be allowed in consultation with the party leadership to nominate whoever we want for the position.
“Therefore, in the light of the above resolutions, we call on all Nigerians to completely disregard any purported endorsement of any senator from the North East by any zone for the position yet because any post zoned to us, must have our input.
”We don’t know anything about any endorsement of anybody from the North East being touted around through the pages of newspapers . We disassociate ourselves from any endorsements from other zones because the party has not zoned any position to us yet and we don’t want to jump the gun”.
But further revealing what transpired at the Transcorp Hilton meeting, one of the APC Senators -elect from the zone , specifically from Adamawa state, said the anger of the senators against Lawan!s purported endorsements by North West and South West caucuses, was fueled by the way Lawan himself tried to outsmart them at the meeting.
According to the Senator, Lawan sneaked out of the meeting in the heat of the resolutions arrived at, only for him to be announced as the endorsed candidate from the Zone for the post of Senate President by both the North West and South West caucuses few minutes after.
“This to us the remaining 12 APC senators- elect from the zone, is fraudulent and unacceptable and infact, desperation at its peak”, the senator fumed.
Notable APC Senators-elect at the briefing aside the Chairman, Danjuma Goje, were Isa Ahmed Gusau, the Secretary of the caucus ( Bauchi Central), Ali Ndume ( Borno South), Bukar Abba Ibrahim ( Yobe Central) and Abdulaziz Murtala Nyako ( Adamawa Central.
Others at the meeting are Binta Marshi Garba ( Adamawa North), Ahmed Abubakar ( Adamawa South), Usman Bayero Nafada ( Gombe North), Abubakar Jare ( Borno North ) and Sulynan Nazif ( Bauchi North) , while Senator Ahmad Zannah ( Borno Central) , was said to be indisposed and Ahmad Lawan was said to be bereaved.