Ripples Nigeria - Forces within the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are neck deep in serious plans for a post-Saraki Senate Presidency.
Investigations revealed that the two major parties have concluded that Senate President, Bukola Saraki is on his way out due to prosecution for charges of false asset declaration at the Code for Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
The PDP and APC caucuses in the Upper Chamber are said to have agreed that there is no way Saraki can wriggle his way out of prosecution and jail term based on the proceedings at the CCT.
Many of the Senators, it was learnt, have realised that the Presidency is determined to see through the humiliation of the former Kwara governor at the trial.
This conclusion, it was gathered, is why the number of Senators accompanying him to the daily trial at the CCT has seriously reduced in the last few weeks.
The Senators are said to be becoming increasingly irritated by the negative perception the trial is conferring on the Upper Chamber as well as the fractured relationship with the Presidency, which has denied them access to fringe benefits.
Besides, it was gathered that the Senators have stumbled on intelligence report to the effect that Saraki will be prosecuted and condemned to a jail term in the next few weeks.
This, according to sources, is why the two camps are moving swiftly to put their houses in order and plot beyond the Saraki’s leadership.
The APC and PDP Senators, according to checks, have already informed party leaders on the needs to quickly commence plans for life after Saraki to avert being outsmarted.
The APC has a slim majority among the 109 Senators though some of the lawmakers in the ruling party are known to be PDP sympathisers.
This reality has prompted the PDP to swing into action, knowing that it has some marginal advantages in producing Saraki’s successor.
Checks revealed that the PDP is counting on the power of incumbency since Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu is believed will hold the forte in the days leading to the election of a new Senate President.
The Enugu West Senator is a fourth-term senator and has been Deputy Senate President since 2007.
He has built enough networks and dispensed many favours in the past to attract support.
The PDP is said to have decided on Ekweremadu after former Senate President, David Mark declined the offer to take over from Saraki.
The party’s caucus is said to be banking on the fact that many Senators will support Ekweremadu because he will still benefit from the goodwill of outgoing Senate President, Saraki.
Besides, the party believes that he will be easy for him to rally round the Saraki’s elements in the APC.
On its part, the ruling party is also locked in serious strategizing ahead of the expected election.
Also, the party is selling the theory that an Ekweremadu as Senate President will compensate the South East which feels marginalised in the current administration.
Investigations reveal that the party is prepared to put forward Senator Barnabas Gemade from Benue North East.
Gemade, it is believed, will appeal to PDP Senators having served as national chairman of the party.
Besides, there is the advantage of his emergence retaining the current zoning of the post to the North Central.
Gemade is also seen as an elderly candidate whose wisdom and candour will be able to offer the Upper Chamber the much-needed stability.
With him at the saddle, the party believes it will become easier for President Muhammadu Buhari to push through his policies at the National Assembly.