With the All Progressives Congress (APC) settling for Godswill Akpabio as its candidate for the Senate Presidency and Abbas Tajudeen as Speaker, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Senator Osita Izunaso, Senator Musa Sani, Hon Muktar Aliyu Betara, Hon Ado Doguwa, and a host of others contesting for the top leadership positions in the Senate and House of Representatives may have lost out.
A meeting last Friday with the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu had reached an agreement on the sharing formula for the six offices each in the two chambers of the National Assembly.
In the sharing formula as announced, the North-central was not considered for any position, even as the North-west got the position of Speaker and the Deputy Senate President.
The development, however, generated heat when a North-central group on the platform of the APC Stakeholders Forum, Monday, stormed the national secretariat of the party to protest exclusion of the zone from the leadership of the National Assembly.
Announcing the official position of the party Monday evening, APC National Publicity Secretary Barrister Felix Morka, said the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) met and ratified that the Senate President should go to the South-south, Senator Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) and Deputy Senate President to the North-west, Senator Barau Jubrin (Kano).
In the House of Representatives, the party confirmed that the position of Speaker would go to the North-west, Hon. Abass Tajudeen (Kaduna) and Deputy Speaker South-east, Hon Ben Kalu (Abia).
The party urged party leaders, members and all Nigerians to continue to work for peace and progress of the country during and beyond the current period of leadership transition.
Earlier before announcement of the zoning arrangement by APC NWC, one of the contenders in the Senate, Senator Sani Musa (Niger East), told journalists that whatever decision the party takes on zoning will be considered as required inputs into leadership selection while the ultimate and final decision lies with the federal lawmakers – elect.
And from the South-east Caucus of Senators-elect came a position that the ruling party’s decision had marginalised the zone.
Spokesman of the group, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, said this Monday while featuring on Politics Today, a Channels Television programme monitored by Blueprint in Abuja.
The lawmaker representing Anambra South in the National Assembly contended that if the South-east produces the next leader of the upper lawmaking body, it would help in strengthening the unity of the country.
He said: “For me and our people from the South-East, we are still very strong in contesting for the office of the Senate President of Nigeria for the 10th Senate. That is our position for now.