Buhari bursts Lawan’s ‘secret deal’ with Saraki

June 25, 2019
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President Muhammadu Buhari may have taken steps to burst perceived deal between the President of the Senate of the ninth National Assembly, Ahmad Lawan, and the former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, in the buildup to the election of the presiding officers of the ninth Senate.

Senate President Lawan is being suspected to have entered into a strong deal with Saraki during his campaign, overtures and horse trading for the election of the Senate President on the inauguration of the Ninth National Assembly. Senate President Lawan is suspected to have negotiated the support of the power bloc in the Senate with Saraki who is believed to have strong influence in the bloc, in exchange for certain concessions, part of which included the retention of some of the predecessors’ aides and significant committee appointments for the predecessor’s loyalists in the Upper Chamber.

The suspected deal was acknowledged to have given Lawan easy victory over his competitor for the senate president, Senator Ali Ndume, both contenders are of the ruling APC. Saraki is upheld to have notable influence both on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and most APC senators that can swing the pendulum on any issue in the Senate any day. Lawan discovered that he needed this to defeat Ndume, leading to the perceived negotiations with the predecessor, in addition to the former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu.

National Dailyearlier reported that Senate President Lawan is under fire for re-appointing Saraki’s media aides in his team.

The Presidency and the APC leadership have been restless since Lawan made the appointment of his aides and other legislative staff. The appointments stimulated urgent meetings at the official residence of the Senate President who was said to be mandated to reverse those appointments.

President Buhari was alleged to have issued query to the senate president over the appointment of his aides, some of who were co-opted from the PDP workforce.

The media aides of Saraki re-appointed by Senate President Lawan were identified to include: Mohammed Isa, Special Assistant on Media and Publicity; Olu Onemola, Special Assistant on New Media and Tope Olowoeye, Senior Legislative Aide on Media and Publicity (Photography).

There were insinuations that pressures from APC leaders, including the President, compelled Lawan to sack Dr. Festus Adedayo, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity last Thursday.

Senate President Lawan was said to have approved the sack of Adedayo after a meeting on Wednesday night at his residence in Abuja with top APC leaders in the Senate.

Though Adebayo is not among the Saraki’s aides Lawan retained, APC leaders, however, protested Adedayo’s caustic criticisms of PresidentBuhari and the APC government, demanding his immediate dismissal.

As the pressure increases on the senate president, one of Saraki’s aides in Lawan’s media team, Olu Onemola, Special Assistant on New Media, voluntarily resigned his appointment after the sack of Adebayo.

The President was alleged to have insisted on total cleansing of the Senate President’s appointments; he was said to be vehemently opposed to any link with Saraki in the current dispensation.

Meanwhile, sources from the Senate told National  Daily that Lawan currently finds himself in a dilemma. The sources added that Lawan may not have won the senate president without Saraki, adding that the Senate had established a very strong internal power bloc that determines the leadership of the Upper Chamber with capacity to resist any external influence. The bloc was said to be responsible for Lawan’s victory not the external noise. The sources also said that the same phenomenon exists in the House of Representatives. Saraki and former President of the Senate, David Mark, were said to have overwhelming influence over the power bloc whether on the seat of authority or outside.

The events are still unfolding; National Daily will bring you update.

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