Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Senate President: Support for Lawan, Akume ticket swells

THE support for  Senators Ahmed Lawan and George Akume as Senate President and Deputy Senate President in the Eighth Assembly has increased.

A ranking senator, who said this yesterday, added that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders in the chamber “are excited by the new team”, which has the support of 40 All Progressives Congress (APC) senators.
It was learnt that as the Lawan-Akume ticket was announced at the weekend, many senators-elect, who had not made up their minds before the retreat, supported the duo “because of the ticket and issue-based campaign”.

The “Unity Forum” of the Senate, led by Senator Barnabas Gamade, at the weekend, announced the coming together of the two aspirants.
Explaining that the ticket is unbeatable, ranking senators-elect likened it to the presidential ticket of the APC, which won the presidential election.

They added: “All senators-elect across the political divide in the yet to be inaugurated Senate are already identifying with team, especially those in APC.
“In terms of the experience, we have been telling our distinguished colleagues across party lines that the Lawan-Akume ticket will provide the nation with the much desired legislative know-how because Lawan is going to be the highest ranking APC senator in the Eighth Assembly. 

Senator Akume is a former governor and a legislator in the last eight years. He is the Minority Leader.”

The senators-elect said it was not difficult to sell the tickets to their colleagues as one that would be on the same page with the Executive on the issue of corruption “because Lawan and Akume, from the available record of their service to the country in the public domain, have been on the same page with Nigerians on the menace”.

“From the pronouncements of our party leaders and their body language, what is of utmost importance to them is for the National Assembly to start on a clean slate with principal officers who will be seen as not only transparent, but transparently honest and do not carry any baggage of past scandal, no matter how small,” they added.

It was gathered that the PDP leaders in the Senate have reaffirmed their readiness to vote for Lawan and Akume “with the collapse of the campaign structures of the two senators into one”.
APC ranking senators-elect said their counterparts in the opposition party told them that the Lawan-Akume ticket had made things easy for them, “following the ongoing engagements between APC leaders and the opposition leaders in the National Assembly”.

Some PDP senators-elect were quoted as promising not to “betray” the Lawan-Akume ticket should there be need for election on June 4 when the eight session of the National Assembly will be inaugurated.

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