North-West, South-South Jostle For Senate Presidency Seat

The Coalition of Northern Groups has voiced its opinion that the North-West region should be considered for the position of Senate President, citing the fact that President-elect Asiwaju Bola Tinubu received his highest number of votes from that zone. They argue that it would be unfair to allocate the position to the South since Tinubu hails from that region.

Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, the spokesperson for the group, shared his perspective during an interview, stating, “For the sake of fairness and balance, it would be reasonable for the South not to expect the Senate Presidential slot when the President-elect is already from their region. We should focus on the functions here. The role of the vice-president is mainly nominal, which means the North might not be seen as holding a functional position solely because of the vice-presidency. The next functional office after the presidency is the Senate Presidency.”

Suleiman believes that if the South holds the highest functional office, which is the presidency, then the Senate Presidency should rightfully remain in the North. The North can then sub-zone the position to either the North-West or the North Central.

He further argued that the North-West should be given priority due to its significant role in securing the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 25 presidential election. Suleiman emphasized that the President-elect garnered the majority of his votes from the North-West, surpassing even his own region, the South-West.

In contrast, Chief Ken Robinson, spokesperson for the Pan Niger-Delta Forum (PANDEF), asserted that it is the turn of the South-South region to produce the next Senate President. He pointed out that the South-South has not held this position since 1983, despite having a taste of it in 1979. Robinson also highlighted that the South-East had previously enjoyed the Senate Presidency as a birthright, having produced four Senate Presidents from 1999 to 2007.

As discussions surrounding the leadership of the 10th National Assembly intensify, PANDEF urges the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which holds the majority of senators-elect, to allocate the position of Senate President to the South-South.

Meanwhile, Dr. Bitrus Pogu, President of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), declared their support for Peter Obi, their presidential candidate, in the ongoing election petition. Pogu stated that while the court process is underway, the MBF prefers not to engage in the permutations and lobbying for National Assembly leadership positions.

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