The stakes appear high for the office of the Senate President as the same set of senators-elect had been the ones holding meetings with major aspirants in different camps for the position of the Senate President and the development had begun to cause tension in the nation’s apex legislative institution.
Investigations by THISDAY revealed that as some senators-elect were hobnobbing with the Senator Godswill Akpabio/Barau Jibrin Stability Group, the same set of prospective lawmakers were also doing same with the Senators Abdul-Aziz Yari, Osita Izunaso, Orji Uzor Kalu ‘s Senate Democratic Caucus (SDC).
A member of the Osita Izunaso’s Campaign Office told THISDAY under the condition of anonymity that no fewer than 77 senators out of the 109 elected on various political parties’ platforms had already signed on for the SDC.
He claimed that “as of Sunday afternoon, the Yari/Izunaso-led camp swelled from 73 to 77 senators-elect between Thursday and Sunday morning.”
The source said, “This is based on the statistics taken at the last outings of the two camps held simultaneously at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel and The Destination Hotel respectively.
“Barely 21 Senators-elect attended the Stability group of Akpabio while 57 physically attended the Yari-led group meeting with concrete apologies from 16 other senators-elect, who could not attend in person.
“However, as of Sunday morning, at least four of the senators-elect that attended the Akpabio meeting had shifted camp and alliance to the SDC. The four senators are from South-south and South-West.
“With this, the Yari/Izunaso-led group made up of senators-elect from the six geopolitical zones of the country now has 77 senators-elect in their camp, a clear majority in the 109-member Senate.
“Even with the 57 senators-elect that physically attended the meeting at Senator Izunaso-owned Destination Hotel, the group has already secured more than the 55 votes required to produce the senate president.”
The source maintained that the simultaneous meetings of the two camps had confirmed the actual strength of the competing tendencies.
“Senator Godswill Akpabio is obviously not in any way a match for Senator Abdul’aziz Yari or the other leading aspirant in his team, Senator Osita Izunaso.
“The abysmal attendance of senators-elect at the Akpabio-led camp meeting in Transcorp Hilton was said to have embarrassed the highly respected former Governor of Ogun State, Akinrogun Osoba, who was invited there as an observer. Akinrogun Osoba left the meeting highly disappointed,” he said.