Nigeria’s Senate President Ahmad Lawan Tuesday announced the list of principal officers sent to him by the leaderships of the All Progressives Party and the Peoples Democratic Party.
Lawan, read two separate letters to the hearing of his colleagues.
He said by those letters, the entire Senate leadership stood constituted.
As he began to read the names, there was absolute quiet in chamber.
Although nobody voiced out any official opposition to the names as read, there were cases 11th hour replacement and removal in the lists sent by both parties.
Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (APC , Kebbi State) emerged the Senate Majority Leader while a former deputy governor of Abia State, Senator Ehinnayya Abaribe (PDP, Abia State) was named the Senate Minority Leader.
Also, a former Abia State governor, Senator Orji Kalu, (APC, Abia State) became the Senate Majority Whip just as Senator Philip Aduda(PDP, FCT) was named as Senate Minority Whip.
Accordingly, Senator Aliu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger State ) is the Senate Deputy Majority Whip just as Senator Robert Ajayi Borofice(APC, Ondo State) became the Deputy Majority Leader of Senate.
Also, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP, Taraba State) became the Deputy Minority Leader while Senator Sahabi Yau(PDP, Zamfara State) was named the Deputy Minority Whip of the Senate.
The announcement of those names by President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, was shocking to some Senators just as it was very pleasing to the ears of others.
Former Nasarawa State governor, Abdullahi Adamu, whose name had been in the news as the preferred candidate of the APC for the position of Senate Majority was calm on the floor while Lawan read through the list.
Similarly, the name of Sahabi Yau who was announced in replacement to that of Senator Clifford Odia (PDP, Edo State), was another source of surprise.
But Lawan explained that the names were contained in separate letters sent to him by the leadership of APC and PDP.
In their acceptance speeches, the new principal officers of Senate canvassed peaceful cooperation among Senators.
Senate Majority Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, said:
“I am humbled. Never in my life have I ever dreamt of coming this far. It’s a lifetime achievement. My own responsibility is to provide the kind of leadership that will unite the entire Senate. Once we come here, we are senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
We will support the leadership of the National Assembly to ensure we deliver on our campaign promises to the people.”
In his own acceptance speech, Abaribe stated:
“I agree with the Senate majority leader that once we are here, we don’t see ourselves as party members. We see ourselves as statesmen here to solve the problems of Nigeria.
At anytime we step here, we have three duties. We have a duty to our constituents. Then a duty to Nigeria and thirdly, it’s a duty to God. If we can do that, I not sure there will be any problem we can’t resolve on this floor.”
“From this side of the aisle, we will give you our cooperation. We expect the same cooperation from the other side of the aisle.” he added