Opeyemi Bamidele, the senator representing Ekiti Central Senatorial District in the Nigerian Senate, has emerged as the favourite to clinch the Majority Leader position.
Bamidele, an ally of President Bola Tinubu, is returning to the Senate for a second term after serving in the House of Representatives.
The 59-year-old lawyer and human rights activist is also a former commissioner of youth, sports and social development in Lagos state and former senior special assistant on political and intergovernmental relations to the then Governor Tinubu.
He is said to be in a pole position to clinch the Senate Majority Leader seat as negotiations continue in the upper chambers.
News.ng gathered that his main rivals for the position are Senator Orji Uzor-Kalu from Abia and Senator Ali Mohammed Ndume from Borno.
While Uzor-Kalu, a former governor of Abia state, served as the Chief Whip in the 9th Senate, Ndume served as the chairman of the Senate Committee on the Army.
Ndume, who had held the position in the 8th Senate before being replaced by Senator Ahmad Lawan, nominated Senate President Godswill Akpabio during the Senate Presidency election a few weeks back.
Senators David Umahi and Osita Izunaso are also interested in the position, but their push for the seat is feeble at best.
Recall that the President of Yoruba Council Worldwide, Oladotun Hassan, recently called on members of the 10th Senate to support the emergence of Bamidele as the next Senate Leader.
Similarly, the Yoruba Council of Leaders has appealed to the National leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to consider Senator Bamidele as Senate Majority Leader in the 10th Senate.
The Ekiti-born politician is also said to have the backing of Aso Rock to lead the Senate.
Olufemi Ibitoye, an APC youth leader, said:
”If it is true that the APC will make Michael Opeyemi Bamidele the Senate Majority Leader, then these people did not come to play. He is one hell of a performer. Love this for us.”
Many in the APC say Senator Bamidle has paid dues and should be given the position, but others say Ndume and Kalu are ranking members and should be accorded some modicum of respect by the ruling party.