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UPDATE: Ekiti senator Bamidele emerges senate leader, Ndume from Borno as Chief Whip

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The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio on Tuesday announced the name of the senator Ekiti Central district, Opeyemi Bamidele as Senate Leader while Dave Umahi, representing Ebonyi South, as his deputy.

Akpabio also announced Ali Ndume (Borno South) as Chief Whip; and Lola Ashiru (Kwara South) as the Deputy Whip.

Akpabio stated, “The All Progressives Congress caucus of the Senate after consultations, has emerged with their leadership which will be the fulcrum of commencing other businesses of the chamber.

“I’m happy to announce that by consensus, the Senate Leader, Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele, will be the Majority Leader.

“Sen. Mohammed Ndume (APC-Borno) will be the Chief Whip of the 10th Senate; Sen. David Umahi (APC-Ebonyi), by your consent, will act as the Deputy Leader and Sen. Lola Ashiru (APC-Kwara) will be the Deputy Chief Whip.”

The Senate immediately dissolved into a closed session.

The adoption of the principal officers of the Senate and announcement by Akpabio came on the heel of the decision of the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to settle for the people eventually adopted by the Senate.

The leadership of the party decision of the principal officers of the national assembly was meant to douse the tension arising from the scramble for majority principal offices in the National Assembly at both the upper and lower chamber of the National Assembly.

The report noted that the ruling party arrived at a template after consultations with the various blocs of influence in the AAPC.

The ruling party leadership is expected to write a formal letter to the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio and the House of Representatives Speaker Tajudeen Abbas to intimate them with the resolution of the party on the principal officers.

Other candidates being proposed by the APC leadership include the senator representing Borno South, Ali Ndume as the Chief Whip while Lola Ashiru from Kwara South is expected to emerge as the Deputy Chief Whip.

In the House of Representatives, a similar peace formula was struck last night.

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Another source said: “So far, a consensus has been built around Julius Ihonvbere (Owan Constituency, Edo State, Southsouth) as the Majority Leader, Dauda Kumo (Akko Constituency, Gombe State, Northeast) as the Chief Whip and Woman Rep Adewunmi Onanuga (Ikenne/Sagamu/Remo Constituency, Ogun State, Southwest) as Deputy Chief Whip.”

The position of deputies in the House of Representatives are being finalised by the party.

The report quoted a source that says, “The party doesn’t need to foist leadership on the Senate, but at the same time, we cannot be watching our senators split over a manageable situation.

“Both Bamidele and Ndume in particular are highly experienced. They also contributed to the emergence of the President of the Senate, Sen. Akpabio. It, therefore, became necessary to design a template formula for peace in the upper chamber.”

Meanwhile, the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has resolved to transmit a letter to the President of the Senate, Akpabio, to stay action on filling the position of the Senate minority leader of the upper legislative chamber.

While there seems to be a decision to adopt the immediate past Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal as the Senate Minority Leader, the part has chosen to embark on further consultation before forwarding his name to the Senate.

The NWC, however, resolved to delay the announcement of Tambuwal’s nomination until the majority of its Senators and NWC members return to Abuja from the Sallah break.

However, opposition to Tambuwal’s aspiration has heightened with loyalists to ex-Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike kicking against the PDP’s choice of the former House of Representatives speaker.

(omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138

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