There are indications that Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima is expected to emerge as the next Senate Majority Leader.
Yerima’s endorsement for the position is the outcome of a meeting of a caucus of Northwest Senators in Abuja during which the issue of leadership of the next Senate was discussed
According to our source, the Senators at the meeting were said to have argued in favour of having the most ranking among them to become the Senate Majority leader in strict compliance with Senate ranking rule.
Nigerian Insight reports that besides the ranking rule in the chamber which gives preference to Senators who have been elected more than once into the chamber means that top contenders for the Senate leader position from the North-west are Senators Sani Ahmed Ru’fai and Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya.
But Senator Sani is in pole position to clinch the position because he has also been endorsed by his colleagues.
55-year old Yerima was first elected into the Senate in 2007 and since then had remained a principal officer. In his first term, he was elected Minority Whip and in 2011, became the Deputy Minority Leader.
The Senate Majority leader plays key roles in the workings of the Upper Legislative Chamber and the Senate Standing Rule in its section 28 simply made the Majority Leader the manager of Senate businesses.
Baring any last minute change in the arrangement, the Northwest would take the position of Senate Majority Leader in addition to the position of the President while the Southwest would take the position of Speaker in addition to the position of Vice-President. The Northeast and North-Central would take the positions of the Senate President and Deputy President respectively.
In the Second Republic, the Senate Majority Leader became a powerful position in the Nigerian legislature and the prominence and prestige of that office was made possible by a former Senate Leader, the late Senator Abubakar Olusola Saraki, who is the father of Senator Bukola Saraki.
Abdallah Wali (Sokoto State) became Senate Leader in June 1999 and was later succeeded by Samaila Mamman (Katsina State). In 2003, the Northwest occupied the position with Senator (now Ambassador) Dalhatu Sarki Tafida from Kaduna State occupying the office. In 2007, the position shifted to the Southwest and Senator Teslim Folarin from Oyo State got it. In 2011, because Folarin could not make it back to the Senate, his deputy, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), amid stiff opposition from the Northeast, got the post.
Meanwhile, Senator-elect Binta Masi Garba, representing Adamawa North Senatorial District on the platform of the All Progressives Congress has indicated her interest in the Senate President position.