(From The News (Nigeria) - AAGM)
Byline: Henry Ugbolue
Chief Adolphus Wabara becomes the new Senate President, with the opposition ANPP laying claim to his senatorial seat
Allegations of widespread irregularities and outright rigging trailed the People's Democratic Party, PDP, to the Senate last week with the emergence of Adolphus Wabara, as the new senate president.
Ordinarily, the choice of the 55 year old Wabara, as the president of the newly inaugurated Senate would have been hailed as a wise and worthy one. Reputedly a consummate politician who enjoys a huge grassroot following, Wabara, thrice in the last four years sought to be crowned the Senate President. But on the three occasions, he succumbed to the wishes of chieftains of the PDP to step down for more favoured aspirants. Undeterred by these serial rejections, Wabara positioned himself as a stabilizing force of sorts in the defunct Senate. He was always quick to oppose moves that seemed to pitch the Senate against the executive branch of government. He was of course doggedly opposed to the move by some senators to impeach President Olusegun Obasanjo. Wabara at different times headed the sensitive Defence and Police Committees of the Senate.
At a time when it seems Nigerians are desirous of a less antagonistic National Assembly, a Senate led by Wabara would be ideal. But on Tuesday 3 June 2003, only a few people cheered when the clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Ibrahim Salim, invited him to "take the chair as the duly elected Senate President." The truth is that Wabara should not have been in the Senate chamber that morning. Following the expiration of the tenure of the fourth senate, the seat for Abia South Senatorial District in the senate chamber ought to have been occupied by Elder Chiyere Dan Imo. Not Chief Adolphus Wabara.
In the National Assembly election held in April, Imo, candidate of the ANPP, defeated Sen. Wabara of the PDP to secure the Abia South seat in the Senate. The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had in several of its documents confirmed the victory of the ANPP candidate in Abia South Senatorial District.
It was on the strength of the INEC green light that presidential aides sent a copy of President Olusegun Obasanjo's congratulatory letter to Elder Imo. But the …