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Despite Resentment, APC Elects Lawan As Senate President Candidate

By Ganiyu Nasirudeen – The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has finally settled for the duo of Senators Ahmed Lawan and George Akume as its candidates for the Senate Presidency and Deputy for the emerging upper legislative Chamber.

The resolution which has been repeatedly delayed and difficult to reach, was made public late Saturday at the primary conducted by the APC National Working Committee (NWC) held at the International Conference Centre (ICC) FCT, Abuja.

While announcing the outcome of the Primary, the APC National Secretary who was also the Returning Officer, Mala Buni disclosed that a total of 33 Senators were accredited to vote; 32 voted Lawan with one void vote. Similarly, Buni said Akume polled 32 out of 33 votes to emerge as Deputy Senate President Candidate.

Senator Lawan thanked his colleagues in the APC for their support but expressed regret on refusal of another potential candidate for the post, Senator Bukola Saraki and hisn supporters, for failing to partake in the primary exercise.

Still, he appealed to the party’s NWC to assist and get their support for him before the inaugural session of the incoming 8th National Assembly which holds this week.

Meanwhile, Senator Saraki’s supporters under the Unity Forum and the Like Minds Group has been speaking and explaining why they stayed away from the NWC primary which produced Lawan and Akume.

In a release signed by Senators-Elect Dino Melaye and Ahmed Rufai Sani on behalf of the group, the aggrieved APC lawmakers indicated: “Regrettably, the Unity Forum insisted on open ballot voting which we discovered is different from the electoral process used to conduct the earlier election with the House of Representatives members elect. To us, this open ballot voting is primitive; undemocratic and against universal electoral norms and practice.

“In the light of the above, we the Senators elect of Like Minds hereby insist on our position of Open Secret voting process which we believe is in consonance with the provisions of the electoral act, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the universal electoral values”.

The incoming Senators contended that as responsible citizens of Federal Republic of Nigeria and leaders in their own right, they have resolved and vowed not to be part of the process “that promotes undemocratic electoral process that may resort to rancorous and uncivil situations which inhibits the rights of individuals to vote for the candidate of their choice, as this process will further divide us than unite members of our party.

The statement stated that the Senators-Elect of Like Minds insisted that they would participate only in the constitutional election scheduled for Tuesday, “the 9th of June 2015 in line with the rules of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

“We by this press release invite the media to a joint press conference by the 65 Senators-Elect of Like Minds drawn from across party lines on Monday morning, the 8th of June 2015″, stressed the aggrieved Senators-elect.


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