The representative of Enugu West Senatorial District, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, was a surprise nominee for the position of the Deputy Senate President for the 9th National Assembly in the ongoing election of Principal Officers of the 9th National Assembly.
Surprisingly, Senator Kabiru Gaya of the All Progressives Congress, who shortly before the commencement of sitting on Tuesday insisted on contesting for the position, was not nominated by anyone.
Indeed, Ekweremadu’s party, Peoples Democratic Party, had in the wee hours of Tuesday declared support for Gaya as the Deputy Senate President.
Ekweremadu will thus be slugging it out with the choice of President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC, Senator Ovie Imo-Agege, for the Deputy Senate President’s seat.
This has raised the fear that senators from the South East who had been clamouring for a major position in the Senate may vote for Ekweremadu not minding party lines.
There were also indications that those who rooted for Gaya will support Ekweremadu for the seat.
Some senators also hold grudges against Omo-Agege, who was accused of having led a band of thugs to seize the Mace while the Senate was in session last year.
It was one of the issues raised by Ekweremadu when he was asked to address his colleagues after his nomination.
Ekweremadu described the choice of who emerges the Deputy President of the Senate as a “referendum” on the invasion of the Senate and the taking away of the mace, which was later recovered.
As at press time, voting was in progress.