From Fred Itua, Abuja
Indications have emerged that Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, may have fallen out with senators elected on the platform of the party ahead of today’s scheduled National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The crack in the Senate caucus of the APC, it was learnt, has created two factions. While one supports Lawan, who is believed to be against the planned extension of tenure of the caretaker committee led by Governor Mai Mala Buni, the other is backing governors who are pushing for the extension.
An APC senator said the cold war between Lawan and Buni, who are both from Yobe, is about their personal ambitions ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
He said Lawan and Buni are both scheming to secure the slot as running mate to a possible southern presidential candidate.
He claimed Lawan’s men, who have bought into the vice presidential ambition are plotting to have a strong voice in the party, which many believe, has already been hijacked by governors.
“In the past, the Senate was a major bloc of the ruling party. The PDP couldn’t take a decision then without consulting the Senate. That has changed with APC. Today, the APC is moving on without any inputs from the Senate and that’s a bad sign ahead of 2023.
“If senators are unable to have a stake, many of them will be slaves to their governors before they will get return tickets in 2023. Unfortunately, the cold war between Lawan and Buni is not helping matters.
“The duo have their own ambition and that’s not good for us. They want to be running mates to whoever will emerge as presidential candidate of APC from the South in 2023. Unfortunately for Lawan, Buni has the upper hand because Governors are with him. Lawan is yet to even secure the support of 20 per cent of senators,” the source said.
It was further learnt that many senators from the North have joined their governors in supporting the extension of Buni’s tenure. Senators elected on APC platform from the South East are also supporting the extension.
Those predominantly opposed to the extension, it was learnt, are from the South West and the South South.
The APC senator said many former governors are also aggrieved and have joined Lawan in opposing the planned continuation of Buni-led committee.
Their grievance, the source claimed, is as a result of a powerplay between incumbent governors and their predecessors. He said incumbent governors are bent on controlling the structures of the party in their respective states while their predecessors are struggling to hold on to power.
He listed Kebbi, Borno, Nasarawa, Yobe, Kano and Ogun as states where former governors opposed to the planned extension of the caretaker committee hail from.