Sen Ahmed Lawans quest to become Senate President has suffered a major setback as some senators elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have declared support for Danjuma Goje and Ali Ndume.
National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, had announced Lawan as the consensus candidate of the ruling party for the Senate President position.
But, this has not gone down well with most Senators-elect who have expressed concerns over alleged interference by the Executive arm of government.
Days after Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and Senator-elect Gabriel Suswam rejected the "imposition" of Lawan on the parliament, more PDP senators have thrown their weight behind Goje and Ndume.
The PDP senators who addressed journalists in Abuja vowed to "give block votes for any APC candidate who will not be seen as a rubber stamp of the Executive and can protect the independence of the legislature".
The lawmakers who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the endorsement of Lawan by the APC chairman "will easily compromise the Independence of the Legislature."
Some of the Senators-elect expressed confidence in the candidacy of either Goje or Ndume.
"We are more comfortable with either Senator Goje or Ndume than Lawan who we perceive as an Executive puppet," the lawmaker said.
"They are not unaware that Ndume is a die hard Buhari loyalist but believe he is a lot more flexible and sincere to work with and will not mind staking their votes on him against Lawan who is perceived as a stooge in the hands of a certain faction within the Executive," the source added.
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Suswam had last week expressed similar concern when he said lawmakers already perceive Lawan as a symbol of the APC pointing out that the ruling party might be in for another shocker.
The lawmakers, however, vowed to resist any attempt to change the voting rule from open-secret ballot to open voting system which favours APC's plan to allegedly force its members to succumb to party supremacy.