Saraki woos Tinubu’s men

Bukola Saraki
Bukola Saraki

Following the peaceful resolution of the leadership crisis rocking the House of Representatives, the Senate leadership has commenced moves to do same in the upper legislative chamber.

Senate President Bukola Saraki has began moves aimed at finally resolving the seemingly endless crisis.

The Senate President, last week, flagged off what was considered the first stage of the peace moves which sources said had been communicated to his core loyalists.

It was gathered that the decision to appoint loyalists of his arch rival, Senator Ahmad Lawan, to key and strategic positions was aimed at laying the crisis to rest.

A source among the lawmakers said that Saraki was actually disposed to offering Senator Lawan the Senate Leader position, but that his pleas with senators from the North East caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were rebuffed.

The senators later presented Senator Ali Ndume as their choice for the Senate Majority Leader position.

There was, however, surprise last week, as Saraki named a key member of the Senate Unity Forum(SUF) loyal to Lawan, Senator Babajide Omoworare, as the chairman of Senate Committee on Rules and Business, the engine room of the Senate’s operations. Saraki’s main pain in the neck, Senator Kabir Marafa, was named a member of the Strategic Committee.

Saraki also named a leader of the Lawan group, Senator Banabas Gemade, as chairman of the Senate ad hoc committee on review of state of the roads and areas suffering environmental degradation.

Of the four committees named last week, Saraki’s men occupied only the Adhoc Committee on Media and Publicity as well as Senate Services Committee.

Senators who spoke on the development said that the move was strategic and portrayed Saraki as a selfess leader.

A senator who did not want to be quoted said that Saraki “had demonstrated great character and a display of sportsmanship.”

“This latest move to appoint Senator Gemade the spokesman of Unity Forum and Senator Omoworare into what is perceived as the engine room of Senate activities goes to show that Saraki, without prejudice, wields great leadership charisma and certainly has the interest of the Nation at heart,” the senator said.

Speaking in a similar vein, the Senator representing Niger North District, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi, commended Saraki  “for his broad-mindedness and the non-partisan approach he has adopted in constituting the committees in the legislative house.”

Abdullahi stated that the move had gone to confirm Saraki as a peace-loving leader who was sincere about peace moves.

The Niger senator said: “The Rules and Business Committee is the engine room of the Senate that directs the activities of the legislative house. That position given to Omoworare is so influential that it is next to being in the leadership of the Senate.

“It only shows that this Senate President is working for peace and stability of the institution.”

Former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State, Senator Peter Nwaboshi, also said that Saraki was spreading the olive branch, adding that issues surrounding his emergence should be laid to rest now.

He said: “I am indeed thrilled by the Senate President’s decision to fully reconcile the entire Senate. He is really reaching out to all and sundry and trying to carry everybody along. I think he is the right man for the job now. That is why he is being broadminded in his choice of committee members.”

The Senator representing Ogun Central Senatorial District, Senator Lanre Tejuoso said that Saraki laid emphasis on merit and ability in choosing the Senators that would serve on the committees, adding that the Senate President should sustain the peace moves and penchant.

He said that the development was a signal that the present Senate will play positive roles in helping the Buhari administration eliminate insecurity, youth unemployment, corruption and economic stagnation.

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