Senate Presidency: Tinubu Might Favour Akpabio

President-elect Bola Tinubu, alongside the National Working Committee (NWC) of All progressive Congress led by its National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, on Tuesday, met with some contestants for the Senate President seat.

BGT News Garthered that the meeting held at Tinubu’s Asokoro, Abuja home, kickstarted consultations by the former Lagos State governor on the party’s choice for the President of the Senate, Deputy Senate President, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, and other key seats.

Sources at the meeting told The PUNCH the party was looking at South-East and South-South for the Senate President seat while the Deputy Senate Presidency might be zoned to the North-West.

Also in attendance at the Tuesday meeting were Governor of Ekiti State, Biodun Oyebanji; the Senator representing Ekiti Central Senatorial District, Opeyemi Bamidele; Senator-elect, Godswill Akpabio; the senator representing Kano North Senatorial District, Barau Jubrin; Deputy National Chairman for North, Senator Abubakar Kyari and the Secretary of the dissolved APC Presidential Campaign Council, James Faleke.

Others include the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajamiabila, former Nasarawa state governor, Tanko Almakura and former Senator for Benue North-East senator, Barnabas Gemade, Senator Adeola Solomon (Ogun West in the 10th Assembly) and Senator Tokunbo Abiru (Lagos East).

Both Barau and Akpabio are contesting the Senate Presidency.

It was gathered that the APC National Chairman left the party’s secretariat at about 1.35 pm and arrived at the president-elect’s residence in Asokoro by 2.15 pm.

Another source confirmed that the president-elect met individually with Barau, Akpabio, and Kyari before the arrival of Adamu.

He stated, “Asiwaju and the party know they have a short time before the inauguration hence the need to commence an early negotiation. As you must have observed, the president-elect is meeting only relevant politicians and lawmakers that he is obviously going to work with after his inauguration on May 29.

“I believe all these moves are to ensure the APC leadership does not witness a repeat of the coup that brought in Saraki-Dogara leadership. We trust in him to be different from the outgoing administration of President Muhammadu Buhari because of his proven track record.”

Multiple sources at the meeting stated that Tinubu had anointed Senator Akpabio as the Senate President while Barau was penciled for the Deputy Senate President.

One of the sources said, “Akpabio was favoured because of his contributions to the party, including stepping down for the president-elect during the primary elections.

“He was also said to have delivered parts of South-South to the president-elect during the February 25 elections. The pairing was deliberate; Barau would likely get the position of the Deputy Senate President.”

Another source at the meeting noted that two South-West lawmakers, Bamidele and Adeola, were also lobbying for the positions of Senate leaders.

The source said, “Senators Adeola and Bamidele are lobbying for the position of the Senate leader, which is usually given to the geo-political zone of the president. Also, Gbajabiamila and Faleke are pushing hard for the Chief of Staff position.”

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