Mark loses bid to secure automatic tickets for Senators despite Jonathan’s intervention

Abuja — The move by Senate President, Chief David Mark, to secure automatic tickets for some of his principal officers, who were schemed out of the Peoples Democratic Party’s primaries by their governors, has finally collapsed.

One principal officer of the Senate, was, however, still hopeful, weekend, that his name might have been smuggled into by the party after the intervention of the President with his governor.

The strident attempt to salvage the lawmakers, who reportedly ‘lost’ the mock election in most cases to unknown politicians, failed when the governors of the affected states confronted Mark before President Goodluck Jonathan to drop his fight for the affected senators.

Mark, Vanguard learnt, had led a group of lawmakers to the Presidential Villa in a last minute attempt to convince Jonathan to intervene in the face-off between the senators and their governors so that they could be given the tickets of the party to return to the upper legislative chambers this year.

But in accepting to intervene, Jonathan reportedly asked the governors of the affected states to be present when Mark would be presenting the request for the special tickets for those who lost the election in their states.

Vanguard learned from a principal officer, who attended the meeting that despite the presence of Jonathan, most of the governors, who turned up to defend why the senators should not return to the Senate in 2015, made scathing remarks that infuriated the embattled lawmakers and almost resulted in a hot exchange of words.

A governor from one of the South-South states, who is opposing the return of a key committee chairman, who had been in the National Assembly since 1999, reportedly told Jonathan that the senator had no electoral value and should not continue to occupy the seat in the Senate.

The governor even boasted that apart from the first election, which the lawmaker won in 1999 to the House of Representatives, he had subsequently been relying on others to win election, having not been able to secure the support of the people on his own.

The senator in turn, told Jonathan that it was the governor, who created problems for him, having snatched a federal educational institution approved for his constituency to his own (governor’s) village, thereby making him appear as if he had not performed.

The governor of a principal officer from the southern part of Nigeria is also said to have vehemently opposed the return of the senator who had the sympathy of Jonathan.

The man, a top-ranking lawyer, was said to have been edged out of the PDP Senate contest following a battle of wits that saw the senator and former friend of the governor toeing a path different from the governor on the forthcoming governorship election.

It was, however, learned that Jonathan had asked the governor to tamper justice with mercy and allow the lawyer’s name to be sent to INEC because of his strategic position in the Senate and closeness to the seat of power.

As at Sunday, the senator was said to be upbeat that his name had been submitted to INEC, but asked his close associates not to make it public.

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