Senators-elect on the Platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have rejected the candidacy of Senator Ahmad Lawan as Senate President.
Lawan has the backing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), led by the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
The senators-elect, who pleaded anonymity, spoke to select newsmen in order to avoid witch-hunt by the government.
They vowed to vote for the preferred candidate of the party for the Senate president’s seat.
The senators-elect also vowed to reject any attempt to go back to open Ballots Voting rather than secret ballot in the election of the Senate president.
The Senate Standing order as amended recognises secret ballot system for the election of the Senate President and the Deputy Senate President.
One of the senators-elect said the PDP in the Senate will give their block votes enmass to any candidate that will ensure independence of the legislative arm of government.
According to the senators-elect: “We will give block votes for any APC candidate who will not been as a ‘rubber stamp’ of the Executive.”
Two other APC senators-elect — Ali Ndume and Danjuma Goje — have indicated interest in the Senate presidency.
However, Ndume appears to be the stronger of the two contenders.
The PDP senators-elect on Sunday said they will prefer to give their votes to either Goje or Ndume, a former Senate Leader, who they believe can represent a wider spectrum of opinions as well as protect the independence of the legislature.
According to one of the senators-elect: “We are more comfortable with either Senator Goje or Ndume rather than Lawan whois perceived as the Executive’s puppet.”
Already, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, who is also senator-elect, and Senator-elect Gabriel Suswan have openly kicked against the imposition of Lawan by the leadership of the APC.
Abaribe had specifically said the parliament will not sit back and allow anyone impose presiding officers, insisting that only elected senators, who are duly certified, would vote when the time comes.