Senate Presidency: Why Goje is the right man for the job

Although elected members of the ninth National Assembly in Nigeria are yet to be sworn in, contest for the seat of senate president has already commenced just as the ruling party which has over 63 senators has publicly made endorsement on who to occupy the exalted office.

APC and the presidency have reportedly anointed distinguished senator Ahmed Lawan from the north east to replace outgoing senate president Bukola Saraki.

Recall that this is the second time the ruling party is recommending Lawan for the job as it did so in 2015 but members of the senate opted for Bukola Saraki who overcame hurdles and impeachment plots to retain the position for four years.

In consideration of events unfolding at present in the Senate, the party’s anointed candidate may also fail to be elected to lead the 9th assembly as he has other strong and formidable contenders to compete with.

To be precise, one of the major contenders to lawan is senator Danjuma Goje, from Gombe state also in the north eastern part of the country who will now be serving his third term in the upper legislative house, he was a minister and a two term governor of the state.

By his profile, political dexterity and popularity, Goje will make a good senate president of Nigeria in the ninth senate. He was chairman budget and appropriation committee of the Senate in the 8th assembly and has showcased his competence within the period under review.

From the beginning

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Danjuma Goje was born on 10th October 1952, was elected Governor of
Gombe State, Nigeria under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), taking office on the 29th of May, 2003.

His tenure recorded tremendous achievements when he addressed the water scarcity in Gombe town, constructed township roads and provided alot of other amenities to the town making it look like other old cities in the country.

It would be said without fear of contradiction that Goje was a source of inspiration to his successors as his successes as governor motivated them to also live up to expectations by executing development projects for the state making it one of the fastest growing states in Nigeria today.

He is now a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Goje was born in Pindiga, Akko, Gombe State. He studied Political Science and graduated from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. He was a member of the Bauchi State House of Assembly from 1979-1983.

Goje became the Secretary of the National Institute For Medical Research in Yaba, Lagos State in 1984, continuing until 1989. He went on to established his own organization, Zaina Nigeria Ltd, from 1989-1999.

The company was named after his mother, Hajiya Zainab. Goje contested for the seat of Senator in the Nigerian National Assembly in 1998 and later on became the Minister of State, Power and Steel from 1999-2001 under President Olusegun Obasanjo.

In the April 2011 elections, he was elected Senator for Gombe Central on the PDP ticket and joined APC in 2015.

How he can be senate president

One of the criteria for a senator to be elected president of the senate is to be a member of the party that has majority members in the assembly and to be serving for more than one term, that’s a ranking senator.

If that is the requirement, I see Goje as potential president of the 9th senate because he currently serves his third term and enjoys support of his fellow APC senators.

APC has over 64 senators out of 107 and PDP has over 42 senators at present. It was observed that, Goje would have the support of the senators across the board.

For now, the APC senators are divided over their party’s endorsement of Ahmed Lawan opining that the party should have only zoned the exalted office to North East for equity but allow them to freely choose who to occupy the post themselves.

Moreso, other APC members support Ali Ndume who was a former majority leader to replace Saraki. At this juncture, it is pertinent to note that during the last senate Saraki aligned with PDP colleagues to defeat his party’s preferred candidate. Senator Goje has the supports majority in the APC and he needs only 55 votes. Goje is the only person who beyond having what it takes to be the next President of the Senate has the the supports of the overwhelming majority.

Najib Sani writes from Bauchi

The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect WikkiTimes’ editorial stance.

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