All Progressives Congress (APC), Saturday, declared Senators Ahmed Lawan from Yobe and George Akume from Benue State to run as the party’s candidates for the office of Senate President and Deputy Senate President respectively in Tuesday’s election at the National Assembly.
However, the Senators of like minds in statement issued jointly signed by Senator-elect Dino Melaye and Sani Yerima on behalf of about 65 other senators under the aegis of the Like Minds senators, vowed to participate only in the constitutional election scheduled for Tuesday, the 9th of June 2015 in line with the rules of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
The group claimed that the election arrangement is ‘primitive; undemocratic and against universal electoral norms and practice.’
In an election held at the International Conference Centre Abuja, Saturday night, Mr. Lawan scored 32 votes, while Akume got 31 to emerge as Deputy Senate president. Two votes were declared invalid. The APC has 59 Senators in the 109- member Senate.
Like Minds Senators statement reads,” We the Senators-Elect of Like Minds today 6th of June 2015, on the invitation of our party, attended an interactive meeting with selected 5 members from each group, the Unity Forum and the Like Minds Group.
Regrettably, the Unity Forum insisted on open ballot voting which we discovered is different from the electoral process used to conduct the earlier election with the House of Representatives members elect. To us, this open ballot voting is primitive; undemocratic and against universal electoral norms and practice.
“In the light of the above, we the Senators elect of Like Minds hereby insist on our position of Open Secret voting process which we believe is in consonance with the provisions of the electoral act, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the universal electoral values.
“As responsible citizens of Federal Republic of Nigeria, and leaders in our own right, we have resolved and hereby state that we shall not be part of a process that promotes undemocratic electoral process that may resort to rancorous and uncivil situations which inhibits the rights of individuals to vote for the candidate of their choice, as this process will further divide us than unite members of our party.
“In conclusion we the Senators-Elect of Like Minds wish to state categorically that we will participate only in the constitutional election scheduled for Tuesday, the 9th of June 2015 in line with the rules of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”