Northern senators, who are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 10th Senate have made a fresh demand for the position of the Majority Leader.
Some of them, who spoke at different fora, on the conditions of anonymity in Abuja, yesterday, said, “The move by some South West lawmakers to produce a Yoruba Majority Leader could further divide the red chamber.”
News Direct had reported that two ranking senators, Messrs Abdulfatai Buhari (Oyo North) and Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti Central), were in the race for the position of the Senate Majority Leader from the South West geopolitical zone.
But one of the northern senators wondered why the campaign coordinator of the President of the Senate, was not appointed as Majority Leader, based on the already established precedents.
He urged the National Working Committee (NWC) of APC to address the alleged imbalance in the Senate, insisting that senators from the North were currently feeling marginalised.
“We know the Director of Akpabio’s campaign and we know his deputy. When Ahmad Lawan campaigned and he got the Senate President, it was the Director General of his campaign organisation, Abdullahi Yahaya that became the Senate Leader.
“When Senator Ali Ndume was the campaign director for Senator Bukola Saraki, he became the Senate Leader. When Ndoma Egba was made the campaign coordinator for David Mark, he became the Senate Leader.
“I wonder why the deputy campaign coordinator of Senator Godswill Akpabio should be made the Senate Leader as against the coordinator.”
Another ranking senator from the North, who spoke along the line, explained that the leadership of the Senate and the party’s NWC should handle the issue with care to avoid a possible crisis in the 10th Senate.
He said, “If not because of some of us, Akpabio would have lost. Despite the fight that we put on, we escaped with only 17 votes because Senator Abdulaziz Yari needed only nine votes to win.
“He (Yari) got 46 votes. More than 20 senators in the Akpabio’s camp are there because of some of us from the North, not because of Akpabio. These are facts.
“The senators they are pushing for from the South West have never been in the leadership. Ndume was a Minority Leader. He was a Senate Leader. He led the campaign for Akpabio and he’s a ranking Senator,” he said.
In the meantime, some senators had also faulted Akpabio’s appointment of two southern Christians as his Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff.
They alleged that the development would make Akpabio inaccessible to his colleagues from the northern part of the Country.
Akpabio, had on Monday, appointed Chief Sylvester Okonkwo as his Chief of Staff and Saviour Enyiekere, as his Deputy Chief of Staff.