A former Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, said he was defeated by a gang up of some top government officials when he contested for the position of the senate president against Godswil Akpabio on Tuesday.
Mr Yari, who represents Zamfara west senatorial district, stated this in an interview with BBC Hausa service on Friday.
In the election for the senate president held on during the inauguration of the 10th Senate, Mr Akpabio defeated Mr Yari by 63 to 46 votes. The senate is made up of 109 senators.
Mr Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom State, was the anointed candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the President Bola Tinubu.
Mr Yari said he could have won the contest if there was no ‘gang up’ against him led by Mr Tinubu.
He said if he had known he would not win, he would not have contested the election but insisted he would have won if not for the gang up against him.
“I never dreamt of not winning. From the day we started taken count of those with us, we had a number that showed we were in the majority. But you should not forget that I didn’t contest against Akpabio because if I knew I would not be up against Akpabio, I would not have joined the race,” he said.
When asked who he contested against, he said it included the president, the vice president and other top government and political officials.
“Everyone was involved. The president was involved, the vice president was involved, the secretary government of the federation was involved, the governors all against me alone and those that supported me.
“I hope that in his second tenure, the president will allow democratic process to take centre stage in the parliament. He said he has a preferred candidate but the right thing for him as a leader was to accept everyone as his own. He shouldn’t show difference. He said during his swearing in that he would do right to all manner of people. I should be among those he was referring to but with this outcome, it shows there is betrayal and inducement whether to scare (some senators) or some other ways,” he said.
Mr Yari, who was also a former House of Representatives member, however, said he has accepted the outcome of the election in good faith.
“You know National Assembly election is not the type of you’ll say there is rigging. They’re 109 senators and these are matured people in their own rights who have their own decisions and convictions. So, as a Muslim I’ve accepted the outcome of the election in good faith,” he said.
I’ve nothing against Tinubu
Mr Yari, who was the chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), said he has nothing against Mr Tinubu because he believed it was God’s decision that he wouldn’t be the senate president.
“From that day, to me I know that it’s God that decides everything. I know that’s not Bola (the president) that decides things. It’s God. If God wishes otherwise, I would have emerged and not even Bola or anyone could stop it,” he said.
He said the 10th Senate would look into issues critically for the development of the country.