The All Progressive Congress (APC) has explained why it picked Ahmed Lawan, the current leader of the 8th Senate, as its candidate for Senate Presidency in the 9th Senate.
Mr Lawan was the preferred candidate of the ruling party when the formation of the 8th Senate was due in 2015. But the dream did not come true because another lawmaker, Bukola Saraki, who belonged to the party at the time emerged winner.
The emergence of Mr Saraki was against the wish of the APC with several attempts to oust the top lawmaker thwarted. He was elected Senate President due to an alliance he formed with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to carry them along.
The spokesperson of the ruling party, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said the APC settled for Lawan because just like Saraki, the lawmaker is able to carry his colleagues along.
“It is important to note that one of the key considerations for adopting him as the party’s candidate for the Senate Presidency is his ability to carry everyone along,” Mr Issa-Onilu said.
“On top of that, the party has confidence in him not to compromise the progressive ideology of APC. So clearly, Senator Ahmed Lawan is capable of conducting his negotiations within the prism of APC’s objectives,” he added.
The spokesperson also said the party was not against lawmakers who are consulting the opposition in a bid to ensure the wish of the party is done.
“Let me state that our party has no objection to such consultations.
“APC has comfortable majority in both chambers, therefore; we have the number to produce the leadership.
“But democracy recognises the importance of the opposition. Especially when you do not have two-third which would be required at some very critical situations. For us as a ruling party, we understand that a stable and peaceful National Assembly would enhance our capacity to deliver more for the people of Nigeria.
“So the party is not averse to negotiation by Senator Ahmed Lawan and our other senators-elect working to fulfil the position taken by our party,” the spokesperson said.
The Senate Leader is not the only one in his party contesting for the top job. Others who are seeking the same position have vowed not to step down and adhere to the decision of the party.