Leadership Tussle: Ranking rules create stir among Senators


Nigeria's Senate Chamber
Nigeria’s Senate Chamber

Ahead of inauguration of the 8th National Assembly on June 4, there is an intense power struggle among the Senators over the leadership position as some of them are insisting that only the ranking senators will qualify for leadership position.

It was gathered that new Senators are already scheming and lobbying party elders to be elected as principal officers when the new Senate is inaugurated.

By the Senate Standing Orders (2011, as amended) however, 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.

From facts available to our correspondent only 33 senators are able to make it to 8th Senate.

With a simple majority in the chamber, lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are expected to fill these positions: 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.

Findings also revealed that The South south and the South east slot in the leadership is still empty as there is no ranking Senator from both zones presently as the People Democratic Party dominated the areas.

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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