With the inauguration of the 8th National Assembly on June 4, 2015, there is a simmering battle among the incoming lawmakers as some new Senators are insisting on shelving the ranking rule which gives preference to old Senators in composition of the Senate leadership.
Nigerian Pilot reports that some new Senators are scheming and lobbying their political parties’ elders to be elected as principal officers when the new Senate is inaugurated.
The Senate Standing Order (2011 as amended), stipulates that any Senator who has been elected and has been re-elected into the chamber has preference over a member who is newly elected into the chamber.
Chapter II (2) of the Senate Rules specifically removes any ambiguity about the status of Senators in the chamber.
Rule 2, with the headline: Election of presiding and other officers states that in determining ranking, “the following order shall apply: (I) Senators returning based on number of times re-elected; (II) Senators who had been members of the House of Representatives; (III) Senators elected as Senators for the first time.”
Based on this ranking rule, only Senators who have been returned based on the number of times re-elected are expected to form the nucleus of the leadership.
With a simple majority in the chamber, lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress, APC are expected to fill the positions of Senate President; Deputy Senate President; Senate Majority Leader; Chief Whip; Deputy Majority Leader and Deputy Chief Whip.
Flowing from this arrangement, the North-Central and the North-East are angling for the Senate President slot while the Deputy Senate President slot is expected to be filled by the South-West.
The South-South and the South-East slot in the leadership is still dicey.
For the Senate Leader slot, the North-West is expected to fill the slot which has many ranking Senators from the zone.

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