By Mark A. Upaa
The upper chamber of the 9th National assembly kicked-off its first official function, today with the election of Ahmed Lawan from the ruling All Progressives Congress as the president of the Nigerian Senate. The election which was presided over by Chief Mohammed Ataba-Omolori saw the Yobe Senator scoring 79 votes. Lawan defeated senator Ali Ndume, also of the APC, who was able to muster up a meager 28 votes.
Still in its infancy the 9th Assembly continues to take a form and shape. In the opening moves it becomes apparent that all is not well in the ruling APC. Both candidates for the top-spot in the senate emerged from the APC watering down the parties majority and likely highlighting at least 2-factions within the party. While Ahmed Lawan was clearly the ‘party’ man as well as the president’s preferred choice, he was met with stiff competition from within.
Senator Ali Ndume, who was the candidate touted by the People’s Democratic Party could only muster 28 votes. Clearly the leadership of both parties in the assembly have a lot of work to do, if they intend to get all their ducks in a row, to enable them respectively make any kind of legislative progress.
The election held this morning among inaugurated members, was adjudged hitch-free by some and tame by others. Senator Lawan has since taken the oath-of-office.