With only few hours to the inauguration of the 10th national assembly, Orji Uzor Kalu, a former governor of Abia state, and Osita Izunaso, a former national organising secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), are considering dropping out of the race for senate presidency.
Kalu, Izunaso, and Abdulaziz Yari, a former governor of Zamfara state had insisted on running for office of the senate president despite the stance of their party.
The ruling party had nominated Godswill Akpabio, a former governor of Niger Delta affairs, as senate president, and chose Jibrin Barau, senator representing Kano north, as deputy senate president.
Despite the position of the party and pleas from President Bola Tinubu and Vice-President Kashim Shettima, the trio insisted on running.
But in last minute negotiations, Kalu and Izunaso have considered dropping out of the race after a south-east leaders meeting. Senators-elect from other geo-political zones also attended.
A source privy to the happenings said Yari might now be on his own because of the duo’s move to align with the ruling party.
“All the 15 senators-elect from south-east have agreed to support Godswill Akpabio. They held a meeting with him where they pledged their support to him,” the source said.
“Also some of the northern senators-elect especially in the APC who refused to support Akpabio’s bid have also fallen in line. Sani Musa of Niger who was aiming to be deputy senate president has stepped down for Barau. Yari is on his own now.”
Abdul Ningi, a former principal officer of the senate, said last week that Yari had more than 60 senators-elect are supporting his bid.
On Thursday, a federal high court in Abuja extended the order restraining the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) from detaining the former governor of Zamfara.
Source: The Cable