The battle for the leadership of the two chambers of the National Assembly has been heated up to monumental proportion in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). There were revelations at the weekend that millions of dollars were allegedly being shared to many of the newly elected federal lawmakers to mobilise support for the election of the anointed candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) – former Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, as Senate President and former Houser Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, as Speaker of the House of Representatives. National Daily learned campaign and lobby activities were heightened at the weekend as the Tuesday inauguration of the Ninth National Assembly and election of the presiding officers of the two chambers draw near.
Sources alleged that sponsors of the two candidates contesting for the presiding officers of the two chambers of the Ninth National Assembly are adopting the monetary inducement to achieve their aims. The sources remarked that APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and President Muhammadu Buhari have for long declared commitment to ensuring the election of the anointed candidates for the leadership of the National Assembly in the emergent tenure. Agents of the national leader and the Presidency were said to have spent the weekend making deepened overtures and inducement of the elected federal lawmakers across party leanings to secure last minute assurance of support for the APC anointed candidates – Lawan for senate president, and Gbajabiamila for House Speaker. Millions of dollars were said to be allegedly distributed to most lawmakers in hundreds of thousands.
There was the innuendo that sums of money ranging from $100,000 and above were allegedly shared to several lawmakers to induce them to support the APC anointed candidates.
Sources disclosed that Senator Ahmed Lawan after a negotiation and lobbying meeting with some PDP senators resorted to purportedly distribute $100,000 to each senator present at the meeting for influence their decisions. The meeting was said not to have yielded the expected result, thus, the use of money to make the needed impact.
Sources disclosed that Senator Ali Ndume, a contender for the Senate president, had earlier held a bargaining meeting with the PDP senators, promising to offer ‘significant’ committee chairmanship positions to PDP senators when elected Senate President.
It was alleged that a senator from Lagos State admitted involved in the purported sharing of money to the newly elected senators.
Meanwhile, some PDP senators were said to have expressed perturbations over the amount of money being shared in the federal legislature for the elections of the senate president and House Speaker.
It is less than 24 hours to the inauguration of the National Assembly which will take place on Tuesday in Abuja.