Publisher of Ovation Magazine, Chief Dele Momodu, has made a strong case for former Kwara State Governor, Senator Bukola Saraki, to emerge as next Senate President. He stated this on Sunday during a chat with Channels Television on the structure of the incoming government of General Muhammadu Buhari.
While admitting that former Benue State Governor and Senate Minority Leader, Senator George Akume, is another top contender for the number three position, Momodu said Saraki is a much younger and vibrant politician, who hails from one of the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) strongholds, Kwara State.
Saraki and Akume, who both hail from the North Central geo-political zone, are leading contenders for the plum position. The national leadership of APC has reportedly zoned the Senate Presidency to the North-Central.
“So we need a man who understands the Senate very well. Saraki appeals to a lot of us younger folks because the next Senate is going to have maybe about 20 or more governors who are Senators,” Momodu said while making a case for the Senate Committee Chairman on Environment and Ecology.
“Nigeria has gone through so much in the past. So we need men who can hit the ground running. Not just politicians but people with extensive global networks and I think Saraki has that,” he said.
According to him, the incumbent Senate President, Senator David Mark, should also not be ruled out of contention as he might be interested in retaining his position.
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But the former presidential candidate of NCP doubted if the APC would allow Mark to emerge when they have a majority in the Senate.
Momodu also spoke on the leadership outlook of the incoming House of Representatives.
He said: “Femi Gbajabiamila is one name you cannot ignore today if you know him well. He made his name in the House of Reps. for being very vocal and powerful. He rises up to the occasion, and does not shy away from doing what is expected of him as a legislator.”
Momodu said he has written an article published in the dailies in which he stated his expectations and named persons he felt would be right to be in the incoming cabinet of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.). There are also some ministerial positions he expects the new government to take seriously.
“Of course,” he said, “Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State will be available to serve that government because his regime as Governor will be expiring on May 29, 2015”.
“I don’t see how anybody is going to ignore such a man, I believe APC is blessed with a lot of very great minds,” he added.
Gen. Buhari was also advised by the publisher to “look beyond APC” and pick Nigerians from any part of the world who have distinguished themselves. Momodu said: “We need men of accomplishment and women of solid characters,” and former Cross River State Governor, Donald Duke, is one of such persons to look out for.
“Whether the people voted for you or not,” all geo-political zones in the country must be represented in the new cabinet, Momodu said.