By Ibidapo Balogun
Even as the choice of who will become Senate President and Speaker of House of Representatives tears the All Progressives Congress apart, President-elect Muhammadu Buhari has restated his willingness to work with any leader of the National Assembly that the process throws up.
He says he has no preferred candidate and is ready to work with any Senate President or Speaker irrespective of what part of the country he or she originates from.
The battle for the Senate President has pitted Senator Ahmed Lawan from Yobe against Senator Bukola Saraki from Kwara.
On Wednesday, Senator Barnabbas Gemade said about 40 APC Senators have lined behind Lawan. That group of Senators is also backing Senator George Akume for Deputy Senate President.
A day before then, those in Saraki’s group including Senators Abdullahi Adamu, Danjuma Goje and Dino Melaye claimed 35 APC senators were behind them.
Analysts fear the 45 Peoples Democratic Party Senators led by Senate President David Mark may hold the ace in determining who becomes the next Senate President.
But in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, Buhari said: “I am prepared to work with any leaders that the House or Senate selects.”
He said the statement had become necessary in view of the continued name-dropping in some circles linking his name to some candidates.
Buhari had earlier taken the same position in a statement two weeks ago.
“It doesn’t matter who the person is or where he or she is from. There is due process for the selection of leaders of the National Assembly,” the President-elect said, adding, “And I will not interfere in that process.”
Buhari added that the media and the public should begin to get used to no more “business as usual. “Nigeria has indeed entered a new dispensation.”
“My administration does not intend to repeat the same mistakes made by previous governments.”