This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Senate Presidency - 91 Senators-Elect Back Mark

Abuja — Ahead of Monday June 6 inauguration of the 7th National Assembly and election of new leaders of the two legislative chambers, 91 senators-elect have already enlisted in the campaign to ensure the continuity of Senator David Mark as President of the new Senate.

Disclosing this at a press briefing in Abuja , the Zonal Coordinators of the David Mark's Campaign Group said the endorsement cut across party lines and geo-political zones.

This is even as the Patriotic League, an independent campaign group with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also lent its voice to the "Mark Continuity Project", saying the Senate President "should be returned to continue his good work having lived up to general expectations".

The David Mark Campaign Coordinators led by Senator Smart Adeyemi told newsmen that the election of a new senate president on Monday "is just going to be a formality endorsement of Senator David Mark as the President of the 7th Senate".

Adeyemi said so far, Mark is the only candidate running for the office, describing as a mere rumuor, the reported interest of former governors Danjuma Goje and Bukola Saraki in the nation's number three position.

"Saraki is not contesting; in fact he has endorsed Mark", Adeyemi said, adding, "Goje is not contesting because we have not heard from him".

Also speaking at the briefing, the North-east coordinator, Senator Ahmed Lawan said 16 out of the 18 senators-elect from the zone have endorsed Mark.

He said only Goje and Aisha Alhassan from Taraba had not given their express commitment.

Lawan said Monday's inaugural session promises to be the smoothest and perhaps the shortest as there would likely not be any dissenting voice over the election of Senate President.

Speaking on behalf of the South-east senators-elect, Senator Ayogu Eze said there is no dissenting voice in the region over the candidature of Mark and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.

He noted that this is the first time that a joint ticket is being floated in the contest for Senate Presidency.

In the meantime, the Patriotic League, in a statement signed by Chief Mike Arinze and Dr, A. Atogbele, National President and National Secretary respectively, has declared its support for Mark's endorsement to continue in office as Senate President in the new Senate.

The group said its support for Mark was "in the spirit of true democratic practice, the unity of our country and the need to strengthen the legislature for the good governance of the country".

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