10th NASS Leadership: Northern Senators Plan to Oppose APC Zoning

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There are indications that some northern senators running for the incoming 10th National Assembly may upset the All Progressives Congress (APC) zoning plans for leadership positions in the National Assembly.

According to the APC’s zoning structure, as revealed by several party stakeholders, the 10th Assembly Senate President is expected to be a Christian from the country’s southern region.

This is a move to balance the country’s different faiths, as both President-elect Bola Tinubu and Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima are Muslims from the South West and Northeast.

However, according to this online news outlet, certain present members of the National Assembly from the North who have been re-elected to the upper and lower legislative chambers are purportedly fighting against the ruling APC’s zoning formula.

According to The Sun, if caution is not exercised, the incident of 2015, when Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara were elected President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively, may repeat itself with the anti-zoning campaign.

While three Senators-elect have expressed interest in the Senate Presidency from the South, where the office of Senate President is believed to be determined by zoning, about six have expressed interest from the North.

While the former governor of Abia State and Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu; former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio; and a former APC organising secretary, Osita Izunaso are the major senators-elect from the South who have declared interest in the Senate presidency, those from the North include the current President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan from Yobe, Sani Musa from Niger, Mohammed Ali

According to The Sun, two North West aspirants, a former governor and the chairman of a juicy committee of the current Senate, have vowed to frustrate the zoning as they have allegedly held a series of meetings with various groups and one on one to convince and promote the campaign against zoning.

According to reports, the two hopefuls have also been accused of bribing the new incoming senators with foreign currency in order to assure their commitment and loyalty, despite the party’s desire that the offices be allocated.

It was also learned that, although one of the hopefuls is depending on his large financial war chest and relationships within the Governors’ Forum to gain the position, another has pledged to disregard the party’s position and run for office on the day of inauguration.

Despite all the enticements, it was clear that the new senators-elect were hesitant to commit to any of the Northern hopefuls.

The newly elected senators, who were said to have convened in Abuja, reportedly resolved to wait till their respective political parties zone the posts and provide a clear instruction on who to support.

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