Senator Abdulaziz Yari, a major contender in Tuesday’s Senate Presidency election, has said he was betrayed.
The former Zamfara governor, who refused to step down for the All Progressives Congress (APC) anointed candidate, Godswill Akpabio, eventual winner of the election, said he had majority on his side few hours to the election.
In an interview with journalists, Yari said out of the 76 persons in his camp, he was hoping that even if things went bad, he would have polled 61 votes.
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“I can say there was a betrayal because as we were taking stock at 3:00 am on Tuesday before the election, we took stock of over 76 people. We took into cognisance that there could be a fall-out of about 15 and we had agreed that if that happened, we would comfortably still have about 61 people.
“What we got was the reverse and yes, I felt betrayed over that outcome.”
Yari added that he had accepted his fate and would work with his opponent in the election in the interest of peace.
“Life is a cycle; as a Muslim, God has decided who will be the president of the senate for the 10th assembly and I have no reason not to accept what God has decided.”
Daily Trust had reported how last-minute intrigues and intense lobbying by the Presidency led to the emergence of Akpabio and Tajudeen Abass, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
A few days before the election, Vice President Kashim Shettima, the arrowhead of the Presidency’s campaign team for Akpabio, said he was ready to kneel and beg other lawmakers who were yet to join Akpabio’s camp.
In a bid to avoid the 2015 scenario where Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara emerged as Senate President and Speaker respectively against the party’s decision, the 10th Assembly inauguration started two hours ahead of schedule.
Yari contested the position against the party’s choice after calls for a review of the APC zoning formula went without desired results.
Daily Trust reliably gathered that three former governors, who are regarded as landlords of the Senate mobilised senators for Yari.
Two credible sources said the three former governors played key roles in the emergence of Saraki when he defied the directives of the party in 2015. One of the sources said the former governors control a bloc in the Senate.
“They worked for Yari. They were instrumental in the emergence of Bukola in 2015. In 2019, Lawan won when he was able to bring them on board following Buhari’s intervention. They are powerful,” he said.
Another source, a senator said except for the push by the presidency, Yari would have defeated Akpabio with the three governors on his side.
“The Monday meeting between President Tinubu and former Senate President Ahmad Lawan turned the table in favour of Akpabio. He was with Yari before the meeting,” the source added.
Also, the alliance between Yari and Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, another aggrieved Senate presidency aspirant contributed to the votes he polled. Kalu agreed to pair with Yari as deputy Senate president. Yari’s candidacy was seen by his backers and promoters as a northern agenda, lamenting that the zoning template is skewed against the North.
They said all three arms of government will be headed by southerners with Akpabio as the Senate President.
They said voting for the party’s endorsed candidate amounted to acceptance of undue executive interference in the affairs of the legislature. These factors worked in favour of Yari.
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