*Lawan is new Senate Leader
By Sandra Onyekwere
Facts emerged why Pro-Saraki Senators in the Senate rooted for and removed Senator Ali Ndume as the Leader of the Senate while replacing the latter with Senator Ahmad Lawan to the leadership of the Senate as the new leader.
It was gathered that most members of APC caucus in the Senate were not aware of the meeting that facilitated the removal of Senator Ndume as the leader of the Senate.
Saraki’s inner caucus was very angry over statements credited to Ndume after his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari that the Senate is yet to reject Magu as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Infuriated by the statement credited to Ndume, Senate quickly countered him, in a press briefing by Senator Abdulahi Sabi who stated that the rejection of Magu as EFCC chairman still stands like the famous Zuma Rock.
Some of the Saraki inner caucus in the Senate has also been embittered over Ndume’s closeness to President Buhari.
Ndume’s replacement was announced shortly after he left for Mosque to pray in the National Assembly’s basement mosque as his tradition.
Saraki who announced Ndume’s replacement in the letter written by caucus told the Senators of APC caucus: “we want to inform Your Excellency and the Senate that after separate meetings held on Monday 9th January, we want to notify you of change in the leadership. Senator Ahmad Lawan now is the new Senate Leader.”
Many APC senators who pleaded anonymity because of the grave sensitivity of the matter said that they were not aware of the meeting of the caucus on Monday.
One of the Senators said although he was not aware of the meeting but he signed letter announcing replacing of Senator Ali Ndume by Senator Ahmad Lawan which was brought to him on Tuesday morning before the commencement of the plenary session.
Saraki’s inner caucus capitalised on Ndume’s position on Magu’s confirmation to settle their relationship with APC leadership and the Presidency.
It could be recalled that after the emergence of Saraki as Senate President, the leadership of the party nominated Senator Lawan as the leader of the Senate, a position which was flatly rejected by Senate President.
Then, Saraki defied the leadership of the APC on nomination of Lawan as leader of the Senate and announced Senator Ndume as Senate Leader.
Saraki hinged his position on the ground that he could not ignore the decision of his colleagues who had nominated Ndume at the North-east caucus level. When he was to be removed, Saraki did not report back whether the same North-east caucus was involved in sacking Ndume and replacing same with Lawan.