A senator, Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, has described as “untrue” the claim that President Goodluck Jonathan granted automatic tickets to 40 of the 72 Peoples Democratic Party senators to return to the Senate next year.
This is contained in a statement on Sunday by his media aide, Michael Jegede.
Mr. Jonathan, accompanied by the National Chairman of the PDP, Adamu Mu’azu, had met with about 60 of the party’s senators last week over their agitation to seek re-election to the upper house.
The senate had called off sitting midway on two days last week in the bid to protest the refusal of the PDP to give them automatic tickets.
It was later reported (not by PREMIUM TIMES) that the President had requested the party to allow automatic tickets for 40 senators.
But Mr, Abatemi-Usman, who represents Kogi Central Senatorial District, said neither the president nor the national chairman conceded automatic tickets to the senators.
He alleged that the source of the erroneous report was a well-known Senator who has been trying to create the false impression that he is close to the national PDP leadership and the Presidency.
He said the senator even claimed recently that the president had endorsed him as the next Senate President.
“My colleague should be careful as he is becoming known as the purveyor of dubious information. I was at the meeting from the beginning to the end and at no point was any list of Senators drafted,” he said.
“It is unfortunate that a fellow Senator would peddle such rumours and that respected national newspapers would publish the report without checking the facts.”
Explaining what transpired at the meeting, Mr. Abatemi-Usman, said Mr. Mu’azu merely treated the case of each state on their merit.
He said, “What our national chairman did after some Senators had spoken their minds was to look at the situation in each state, and he said where there are issues they will be resolved amicably.
” If there was any such list my name definitely would have been included because the chairman said he is not aware that I am having any problem in Kogi Central while speaking on the situation in Kogi State. He said the problem in Kogi West will be resolved. That was the manner in which the Chairman went through all the States.
“Neither he, nor the President at any time mentioned names of Senators to be granted automatic tickets. It seems my colleague behind the purported report is being mischievous in spreading this story and the public should disregard his claims.”