In what appears to be a hilarious twist to the ongoing crisis in the upper chamber of the National Assembly, Senate Whip Sola Adeyeye, has disclosed, in strong terms, his ambition to be Senate President, a position now being occupied by Senator Bukola Saraki.
Adeyeye, a professor of Biology representing Osun Central, told The Point in an exclusive interview that so many factors played against his emerging President in the present Senate, indicating that, though another senator was on his preferred seat, his ambition was still intact.
He disclosed this just as he said that the politics of power tussle rocking the Senate was far from being over. He said, “The moment the President chose Professor Yemi Osinbajo as his vice-presidential candidate, I knew that there was no chance for me to become the Senate President. And from the moment that Gbajabiamila began to seek the position of the Speaker, I also knew that I had no chance to be Deputy Senate President; so I began to look at the possibility of being Senate Leader.
“But in the long run, I ended up as Senate Whip. I thank God, although that is not what I would have loved to be. Give me a chance, I want to be Senate President too.”
He noted that the crisis in the Senate, under which Bukola Saraki emerged as Senate President had put the All Progressives Congress in a dilemma.
“Yes, the crisis put the party (APC) in a dilemma. Look, I would like to be Senate President. If it was a place where we didn’t have this arrangement of zoning, why shouldn’t I be the Senate President?” he asked rhetorically.
However, with fresh moves to unseat Saraki, impeccable sources close to the last minutes secret meetings feel that Adeyeye has a ray of hope, though he may not exactly end up with his target.
CRISIS NOT OVER
Shedding more light on the Senate crisis, Adeyeye said the APC caucus, which zoned the Senate Presidency to the North Central, had settled for Senator Ahmed Lawan, but that Saraki teamed up with senators from the Peoples Democratic Party, who were buoyed by some of his loyalists in the APC, to emerge Senate President.
He, however, said the crisis might not be over yet, considering how the Senate President emerged.
“I would not say the crisis is over because when you talk to some of the senators, they are still aggrieved; but I would say that the wounds are healing gradually. My prayer to God is that regardless of where the swing will end, all of us will put Nigeria above personal ambition,” he stated.
The Senate Whip also argued that if two or three senators had emerged from the South-South or the South-East, the Senate Presidency would have been zoned to either of those zones.
“It is because someone like Ngige or Magnus Abbey could not make it back that we now have a situation where other zones felt free to compete for the position. I mean, I would like to be senate president too,” he insisted.
FRESH CRISIS ERUPTS
Adeyeye may be right in his summation that the crisis rocking the Senate is far from being over. Last Wednesday, the lingering crisis in the Senate took a turn for the worse as Senators Lawan and George Akume, who were originally pencilled down by the APC to become Senate President and Deputy Senate President, respectively, walked out of the Senate’s plenary session in protest.
The senators, who stormed out along with their colleagues, who are not in Saraki’s camp, were protesting the decision of the Senate President to allow his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, to preside over the session in his absence. Saraki had mandated Ekweremadu to act for him when he went to attend the swearing-in of new ministers by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Villa. Lawan and three others later departed for a brief discussion before they left to their various offices in the new senate wing.
That plenary session was the first that Ekweremadu would preside over since the inauguration of the eighth Senate. The import of that humiliation, however, was not lost on him.
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