The outgoing Senate #President of the Federal Republic of #Nigeria in the seventh National Assembly, Senator #David Mark, has surprisingly emerged favourite to retain his position in the #Eighth National Assembly that will be inaugurated next week.
This surprise instalment of Senator David Mark as the president of the Senate in the #Eighth Assembly sterns from the inability of the ruling All Progressives Congress to come to a compromise and harness the fierce interests of her two leading contending candidates – Senators Saraki and Lawan.
Though the #APC has the upper hand in the National Assembly, courtesy of having fifty-nine senators in the house, there is a great division within the party; with reports suggesting that the party was heading towards a crisis deadlocked meeting, the party’s meeting with her lawmakers-elect earlier scheduled to hold yesterday June 4, 2015 was postponed.
This perceived internal crisis within the camp of the APC has now shifted the odds in favour of Senator David Mark.
Senator David Mark had repeatedly, in the past, said that he had no intention of contesting for the position of senate president in the eighth assembly considering the fact that the party he got elected under, the Peoples Democratic Party, is now the minority in the house. He, however, maintained he was going to ensure that the #PDP provided a formidable opposition to the ruling APC.
To corroborate the stance of Senator Mark, the leadership of the PDP once again, on Wednesday June 3, 2015, denied suggestions that she does not have intentions to field a candidate for the senate presidency next week. But, it is believed that the PDP is secretly planning to give everyone a surprise on the day lawmakers will be electing the senate president of the eighth Assembly.
According to a recent article by Emmanuel Aziken, titled: Senate President: David’s Dangerous Marks, Senator Lawan was favourite to emerge president of the senate considering he was reportedly being backed by Senator David Mark; but everything changed when the camp of Lawan entered into an alliance with Senator Akume.
This development is what is now fuelling suggestions of Mark entering the fray himself to capitalise on how he can make a killing in the face of the division in the APC. If Mark enters the contest, he as usual would do it subtly. If he does so, he would surely not enter at the point of weakness. With 49 senators on the platform of the PDP, and the APC having 59 senators, only 10 votes separate the two parties.
Considering the fact that the APC has been unable to put their house in order by going for a consensus candidate, fielding both Senators Saraki and Lawan on the day of the senate presidency election will give David Mark the upper hand. This is all backed up with the plan by the lawmakers under the PDP to vote massively for only one candidate of their choice.
This resolve was further strengthened with the speech Senator Mark gave during the retreat: “We must subject our individual interest to our group interest. In the election of principal officers of National Assembly, we must vote in one accord. We must know that united we stand, divided we fall.”
As an ordinary senator prior to 2007, Senator Mark won a reputation of leading the largest bloc of senators with more than 70 senators pledging allegiance to him. In his eight years as Senate President, there has been no single report of an attempted putsch quite unlike the years before his advent. Mischief makers allege that he was the one that strew the banana peels that fell the several Senate Presidents before him and that once he got to the office he quickly packed away the banana peels.
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