Barely two and a half months to the inauguration of the ninth Senate, newly elected members have urged the presidency and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to manage the election of presiding officers in a way that ensures peace in the chamber and enthrones a harmonious relationship between the executive and legislative arms of government.
Scores of the legislators, who received their certificates of return (CORs) yesterday in Abuja, admitted though that the presidency and the leadership of the party may play a significant in the determination of the next senate leadership, they, however, cautioned the two parties against instigating a round of fresh crisis.
Specifically, Adedayo Adeyeye (APC Ekiti South) said for the ninth senate to avoid the leadership crisis that engulfed the outgoing one, the leadership of the party must provide the required direction.
However Bamidele Opeyemi (APC Ekiti Central suggested that whatever process that would be deployed by the presidency and the party leadership must be well managed to avoid any backlash.
The spokesman of the green chamber, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC Niger North), told newsmen that the lessons to be learnt from the leadership squabble of the eighth session had been imbibed.
“I was a key player in the leadership configuration of the eighth senate and the attendant crisis that followed. As one of the 43 returnees, the lessons learnt will be used to prevent the mistakes of the past,” he stated.
However, Kabiru Gaya (APC Kano South) has indicated interest to run for the office of the deputy senate president.
He gave the hint after collecting his COR as four-time member of the assembly.
In the meantime, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has faulted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for withholding his recognition as senator-elect.
The returning officer (RO) for Imo West, Prof. Francis Ibeawuchi, had declared Okorocha as winner for polling 97,762 over the 68,117 ballots garnered by his closest rival and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Jones Onyereri.
Ibeawuchi had also confessed that he returned the governor under duress.
Disturbed, Okorocha told reporters yesterday in Abuja that the development was not only an affront to the sensibilities of his constituents but also an insult to democracy in Nigeria.