APC Group Urges Fair Distribution Of National Assembly Officers
A group affiliated with the All Progressives Congress (APC) has issued a call to the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and members of the National Working Committee (NWC), urging them to avoid the temptation of allowing one geographical region to occupy both presiding officer positions in either of the two chambers of the upcoming 10th Assembly inauguration.
Furthermore, the group has emphasized that it is crucial for the party to allocate the presiding offices of the Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives to different geographical zones.
This warning comes ahead of a significant meeting scheduled for Monday, where the APC NWC will deliberate on the regions and consensus candidates to be considered for the positions of Senate President, Speaker, and other principal offices.
According to multiple sources familiar with the matter, this decision arose from a closed-door meeting between the party leadership and President-elect Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, held on Friday.
Among the contenders for the position of Senate President are former Zamfara Governor, Abdulaziz Yari; Senator Godwin Akpabio, the immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Affairs; Senator Jibrin Barau, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation; and Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, who recently experienced the loss of his wife. These individuals have been identified as favorites for the role.
Other strong contenders include Osita Izunaso, the senator-elect representing Imo West; Sani Musa from Niger East; Patrick Ndubueze from Imo North, and the incumbent Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, who has been actively lobbying through intermediaries.
In the race for the Speaker of the House of Representatives, notable candidates include Tajudeen Abass from Kaduna, Muktra Betara from Borno, Ahmed Idris Wase from Plateau, Ben Kalu from Abia, and Miriam Onuoha from Imo.
Expressing their concerns regarding the ongoing horse-trading and lobbying among lawmakers over the past two months, the Coordinator of the APC Integrity Group, Malam Dawu Mohammed, stated that it would be detrimental to both the party and the President-elect if they were to favor one region at the expense of others. They emphasized the need to avoid a crisis within the legislative arm.
Mohammed gave the warning in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday.
According to him, events in the last week have given an indication that certain lawmakers have been favoured for the positions of Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives.
He said, “We have observed the horse trading going on about the presiding offices of the 10th Assembly and we consider it pertinent to advise that two presiding offices should not go to one geo-political zone. Doing so, we believe would be injurious to the unity and existence of the party.
“We, also consider it a concern that the NWC of our party had till date not been able to come up with the zoning formula. This situation had led to different interests and agitations that we are witnessing among our elected lawmakers.
“The APC Integrity Group expect that those who take lawmakers to the President-elect for endorsement should do that in the interest of the country and not because of juicy committees and other considerations. The President-elect and the party leadership should know that whatever crises come from the zoning and election of the presiding officers, they are responsible for them.
“It is our sincere view that the Deputy Senate President should be zoned to the North Central since the party is considering zoning the Speaker House of Representatives to the North West.”