By Johnbosco Agbarakwu & Chris Ochayi
Fresh intrigues are beclouding the contest for the office of the President of the Senate in the 8th National Assembly following the reported split of the North-Central caucus of the Senate between two groups.
Senators George Akume and Bukola Saraki have emerged as front runners on the basis of the inclination of the incoming majority party, All Progressives Congress, APC, to zone the office to the North-Central region where the two of them come from.
However, some senators are also believed to be looking outside the North-Central towards the Northeast and are said to be putting Senator Ahmad Lawan as their preferred candidate.
Some other senators are also looking for ways to upturn the inclinations of APC.
Among those believed to be wanting to spoil the concord on zoning in the APC is the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which it was learned, was also preparing to sponsor its own candidate whether from the PDP or a renegade APC senator for the prime position of presiding officer.
Meanwhile, the ambitions of the two powerful senators from the North-Central, Akume and Saraki are said to have split the North-Central caucus into two with those in support and those against each of the candidates throwing up their advantages and disadvantages.
Akume is being pushed as an easy going senator who would be open to all unlike Senator Saraki who is being seen in some sectors as elitist. Saraki, however, is being viewed in some as cerebral. Akume is believed to be winning a substantial proporition of the old senators while the newly elected senators are said to be mobilising for Senator Saraki.
The division in the ranks of the senators from the North Central it was gathered is said to be mobilising enthusiasm for Senator Lawan as a consensus candidate given his position as the most experienced legislator of the lot.
Senator Lawan has been in the National Assembly since 1999 and was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1999 before being re-elected in 2003 and then stepping up to the Senate in 2007.
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