Race for Senate President


THE race for the Office of Senate President has heated up as Jibrin Barau from Kano Central Senatorial District has declared his intention to contest for the position, stating that he is the most experienced among those vying for the office.

Speaking to journalists at the National Assembly in Abuja on Wednesday, March 22, Barau explained that the position of the Senate President should be based on experience and competence, not sentiments.

He noted that he would officially begin his campaign for the number one seat in the Senate in a few days while he would formally declare in the coming weeks.

Barau, who has been in the National Assembly since 1999 and in the Senate since 2015, explained that the Senate rules gives credence to seniority and experience. He pointed out that aspiration for the seat of Senate President should be in accordance with ranking.

According to him, he is the highest ranked senator among those who have indicated interest in the post.

Barau added that it is essential to be grounded in the residue of the legislature before becoming the Senate President. Arguing that competence should not be played against sentiments, he cited the example of David Mark, who was a Christian, and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, who was also a Christian, stating that they were the most experienced and ranking senators at the time.

Meanwhile, Orji Kalu, representing Abia North Senatorial District of Abia State, has requested that his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), zone the Senate Presidency to the South-East.

Speaking on Tuesday, March 21, Kalu, who is currently the Chief Whip of the Senate, declared that it is his turn to be Senate President.

He said, “It is my turn to become the Senate President. If I’m elected Senate President, I will be Team Nigeria. I’m going to work in every corner of Nigeria.

“I schooled in Maiduguri, Borno State. I started my business in Lagos and spread it across all state capitals. My first name will be team Nigeria, my last name will be team Nigeria.”

Urging the APC to zone the office to his ward in Igbere, with his name on it to prevent any other senator from contesting against him, Kalu noted that with his position as the Chief Whip of the 9th Senate, he is the most ranking Senator from the South-East and therefore deserves the position.

He promised to run an open door policy if he becomes Senate President, and claimed that he has never changed his mobile phone lines.

“Remember, I am the only ex-governor who has never changed my phone number since I became governor 24 years ago. The same MTN I have is what am still using. I have not changed it and I will be willing to still maintain the number and to answer to all my calls.

“I am not going to switch off my phone because I am the Senate President, no. I am hoping that Nigerian people will pray for me to be the Senate President because it is my turn.”

Other who are reported to be eying the position include Sani Musa from Niger, Godswill Akpabio from Akwa Ibom, and Dave Umahi from Ebonyi.

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