Barely five days to the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly, President Ahmed Bola Tinubu has finally endorsed the Joint ticket of the Senate Chief Whip and former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and a former Governor of Zamfara State, Senator Abdul’aziz Yari for the President and Deputy President of the Senate.
Sources from the official staff of the President revealed on Thursday Morning that Tinubu has buried the idea of imposing the leadership of the 10th senate on the lawmakers elect and is already warming up to work with Yari and Kalu as President and Deputy President of the Senate
One of the sources who maintained anonymity said the President was advised by Yoruba elders and international community to withdraw from interfering in the legislative arm of the government as it would backfire after the inauguration.
He was said to be convinced that the All Progressives Congress (APC) anointed candidates for Senate President and Deputy Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio and Senator Jubril Barau has been unable to secure the numbers needed to win the election despite having the support of the party.
The two camps have earlier laid claim to having the majority numbers. While Akpabio/Barau camp claimed to have 75 senators, Yari/Kalu camp claimed to have 69 senators. The president was said to have received confirmed intelligence of the real figures of each camp. He was disappointed on finding out that Akpabio/Barau camp had only 32 Senators while Yari/Kalu camp has 68 senators with about 9 undecided senators
The President was also said to be very uncomfortable with having a Muslim senate President considering he is Muslim and his Vice is a Muslim.
He was said to have told an influential member of his cabinet of his preference in having Yari as Deputy Senate President while Kalu runs as Senate President. He believes such arrangement will bring balancing and peace among Nigerians
Another source in the villa corroborated the President’s acceptance of the Yari/Kalu ticket. The source said it was the sole reason the President did not endorse anyone during the meeting with the legislators on Wednesday night.
According to the Source, “the president’s recent concern is to have APC members as leadership of the National Assembly. He has accepted Abdul’aziz Yari and Orji Kalu as presiding officers because they have the supports of their colleagues. The president also believe in the capacity of the two senators because he has personal relationship with them.
Our reporter present at last night’s meeting of the President with Lawmakers-elect revealed that about 34 Senators of the APC shunned the meeting with the president. It was discovered that majority of the Senators elect already made up their minds against Akpabio/Barau ticket and have decided to support Orji Kalu and Abulaziz Yari.
Meanwhile, Yari and Kalu were conspicuously absent during the meeting. Against the impression that the two aspirants also shunned the meeting, investigation by News Band Newspaper revealed that Yari and Kalu’s absence were mere coincidence. While Yari was not in the country yesterday, Kalu was indisposed and was advised by his doctor to have 48 hours bed rest. Kalu was also said to be absent during yesterday’s Wednesday plenary in National Assembly.