The All Progressives Congress appears to be settling its political quarrels with the surprise emergence of Senator Ahmed Lawan as the majority leader of the Senate.
He replaces Senator Ali Ndume from Borno State who had occupied the position since June 2015, when the upper chamber began the eight session on a fractious note.
Senate President Senator Bukola Saraki read a letter from APC caucus on the change in the Senate leadership.
But Ndume was quoted to have said that he remains the senate leader.
“I still remain Senate Leader,” he said at a press briefing. He said he was unaware of his removal by the APC Senate Caucus.
The new post must be a pleasant birthday present to the Yobe state politician, who has been in the National Assembly since 1999, first as a member of the House of Representatives. He was first elected senator in 2007.
Lawan was the choice of the Bola Ahmed Tinubu group for the Senate presidency in 2015. But on the day the Senate convened for its first plenary, Saraki, with the support of the minority PDP caucus seized control and took over the leadership.
Lawan was not even around to contest the seat, as he was held up at the International Conference Centre for a meeting, that never held, with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Saraki’s emergence created divisions in the APC. The crisis was accentuated when he refused to adopt Lawan and some other nominees of the party sent by the party leadership for various positions.
In the blowout, Saraki himself was almost consumed as he and his deputy faced a charge of forging the senate rules. He also faced a charge at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
Lawan represents Yobe north in the Senate. He will be 58 years old on Thursday.
Lawan is a geography graduate of the University of Maiduguri, Senator Lawan was born in 1959. He holds a postgraduate diploma in land survey, an MSc and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS), all from the University of Cranfield, United Kingdom. His did his National Youth Service Corps programme in Benue State.
Lawan who had never worked outside the educational sector, became a graduate assistant at the University of Maidugiri after he graduated and he retired as an accomplished scholar and educationist before joining active politics.
Lawan has been a member of the Nigerian parliament since the return of democracy in the country in 1999, representing Yobe state in the senate. He was elected a member of the House of Representatives in 1999. After 8 years in the lower chambers, Lawan was elected into the Nigerian Senate in 2007, and he has been a member of the upper chambers since then. He is one of the most experienced senators in the ranks of the All Progressives Congress.
Lawan has received several awards that include the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON); Fellow of the Institute for Government Research and Leadership Technology (2012); Best Performing Senator in Yobe State in 2009 by Yobe State Students’ Association, University of Abuja Chapter; Best Senator for Effective Oversight, NUJ; Best Senator in 2011 by Baseline Global Ventures; and the Sardauna Legendary Pillar of Exemplary Leadership Award by Leadership and Role Model Foundation of Nigeria.