Bolaji O. Akinyemi.

Ahead of today’s inauguration of the 10th National Assembly, the political intrigues to make Akpabio the Senate President in order to deliver the deal he brokered with Mr President for stepping down for him during APC primary saw all arsenals deployed; moral and immoral. The battle was fierce.

Sensitively to its role as the leading opposition and the direction it provided, the PDP stood with Yari to emerge as the choice of the Senate against the decision of Mr President and the leadership of APC his party.

Before the contest, the Peoples Democratic Party accused the ruling APC of plotting to intimidate and arrest lawmakers-elect seen as championing the independence of the legislature.
The party stated this barely 24 hours after boasting that it would leverage the number of lawmakers elected on the platform of opposition parties to determine the leadership of both houses.

Yari, a former Governor of Zamfara State and top contender for the Senate Presidency, was speculated to be one of those being targeted for arrest.


Yari therefore on the information approached the Federal High Court in Abuja to seek an order of court restraining security agencies from arresting him. The court on Monday, 5th of June, granted his prayers and restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission and the Department of State Services from detaining the former governor, pending the hearing and determination of a motion on notice.

The Justice Donatus Okorowo led Federal High Court, extended the order on Thursday, 8th June after Yari’s counsel, Michael Aondoaka, made an oral application to the effect.

The information of this planned political bullying against the background of how Okorocha was taken out of APC primary was all that was need to take APC’s threat serious by Yari as an insider.

Being in the company of the “Fada of the Senate”; Senator Francis Adenigba Fadahunsi,
I was privileged to be admitted into some of the caucus meetings before the election to observe their sessions, in one of such 58 Senators were in attendance to give their backing to Yari’s ambition, the mood of the meeting was suggestive of persons who had more than political reason not to vote for Akpabio. I could therefore conclude that all form of intimidation and inducement will be needed to swing the pendulum in Akpabio’s favour.

Details of the refusal of PDP to support Akpabio, who had been announced as the choice of both the President and the ruling party was given in address made to journalists at the party’s national secretariat by, PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba who said, “Information at our disposal which is verifiable and some of which we got from reports, is that there are attempts by some APC elements to intimidate, harass and threaten lawmakers-elect with a view to influencing the outcome of the election on the floor of both chambers as to who emerges the Speaker and the President of the Senate.
“There are reports of harassment to arrest those people who are considered to be strong proponents of the independence of the legislature and who are at the forefront of the need to respect those standing rules that provide that members-elect should elect their leadership without any external influence.
“We have these reported actions and plots to arrest such individuals. We as a party that believes in democracy and had the privilege of ‘mid-wifing’ this democracy of ours for 16 years, recognises the fact that the legislature is an ingredient that is very important and key to the sustenance of democracy. So, we need to raise an alarm.”

That alarm, like the sound of a pendulum clock today couldn’t announce Yari’s time as the President of the 10th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It went the the way of Former Akwa Ibom State Governor and ex-Minister for the Niger Delta, Senator Akpabio who emerged victorious after he polled 63 votes while Yari scored 46 votes.

It’s indeed a tall fight to take on the President and his man Akpabio, all said and done, now that the battle is over, the dust created in the Chambers by the politics of leadership has to settle for serious work of legislation to begin.

Let me say a big congratulations to the Senate President, His Excellency, Godswill Obot Akpabio.

Please, don’t ever forget that you are privileged by this to be the Captain of a class of 107 others, who equally have right to the position you hold in trust for them.

May the dynamism that greeted my 3rd year class at Lagos Baptist Secondary School, Orile Agege be the Spirit of the 10th Senate.

Please, watch out for; My class and the 10th Senate, a lesson for Akpabio the Class Captain.

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