All Progressives Congress (APC) Senators loyal to the party leadership and its candidate Ahmed Lawan are yet to accept the result of the National Assembly election which saw Senator Bukola Saraki of the APC emerge as Senate President and Senator Ike Ekweremadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as Deputy Senate President.
The aggrieved lawmakers, operating as the Senate Unity Forum (SUF) said they are yet to recognise Senator Saraki as the Senate President, adding that the resignation of Senator Ekweremadu was one of the conditions for them to recognise his as such.
Speaking to Punch on Saturday, June13, 2015 the Senators condemned the “alliance” between Saraki and the PDP which led to the emergence of Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President, a position he held in the 7th Senate.
Spokesperson of the SUF, Senator Kabir Marafa, said the pro-Saraki senators had to explain to them and the party leadership why they chose to boycott all the party’s arrangements to produce a consensus candidate.
Mafara also agitated for an investigation as to why the Clerk of the House allowed the election to take place in the absence of the SUF senators who were scheduled to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari regarding the issue of the House leadership.
He said: “We demand that Senator Ike Ekweremadu must resign his position because he needed at least 55 senators to emerge as deputy senate president. Ekweremadu is a lawyer and an experienced lawmaker. He knows he is not qualified to win the election with 54 votes.
“Our colleagues, the Like Minds Senators, on three occasions failed to honour the directive of the party for an arrangement to produce consensus candidates for the senate president and deputy senate president.
“They refused to take part in the mock election when 35 APC senators elected Senators Ahmad Lawan and George Akume as the party’s consensus candidates for the two top positions in the Senate.
“They also refused to honour the invitation extended to all of us to attend a meeting with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on June 8, and another meeting called by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 9.
“The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, was not properly elected. He requires a simple majority vote of 55 to win the election but he got 54, so he did not win and we cannot recognise him. We refuse to. Our party has asked us not to talk to the press but we will not keep quiet internally.
“Apart from Ekeweremadu resigning, we are also demanding thorough investigations into the decision of the Clerk of the National Assembly to conduct the election when he was aware that the President had summoned us to a meeting.”