Zamfara West Senator-elect and a contender for Senate presidency, Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari, has declared that the zoning formula of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly is unfair to Northern Nigeria.
The ruling party had last week listed Senator Godswill Akpabio (South-South) and Senator Barau Jibril (North-West) as preferred candidates for 10th Senate President and deputy respectively.
But speaking yesterday while featuring on Arise News’ ‘The Morning Show’, Yari, who is a former Zamfara State governor, said if the current arrangement stands, all the heads of the three arms of government will be Southerners.
Yari said the religion balancing rationale behind the APC zoning arrangement was unknown to the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as the nation’s law book only provides for federal character in sharing of offices for balancing and not religion as a factor.
He said, “The present Chief Justice of Nigeria is from Oyo State; Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President-elect is from Lagos State, and Akpabio is from Akwa Ibom State at the same time. Meanwhile the next Chief Justice of the Federation (Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun) is also going to be from the South-West.
“So, have you ever seen, let’s say since 1960, whether this kind of thing has happened during the Shagari era, coming to Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan? It only happened during Buhari’s time slightly before CJN Onnoghen took over the Judiciary for some time.
“Now it happens that (with APC zoning arrangement) all the three arms of government are in the Southern part of the country. How could that be fair to Northern Nigeria?” Yari queried.
Meanwhile, a speakership aspirant, Yusuf Adamu Gadgi, yesterday said his G-7 would not stop their agitations until the current zoning arrangement is reviewed.
Gagdi is one of the G-7 aspirants protesting the endorsement of Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu as preferred candidates for positions of speaker and deputy respectively.
The lawmaker during a chat with journalists in Abuja said all material facts suggested that the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu may not be privy to the zoning template.
He said Tinubu by his political antecedents and pedigree, will not fall for the arrangements being peddled around.
He said the North Central geopolitical zone cannot be totally pushed out of the power equation in allocating the six constitutionally backed positions in the national political scene to the advantage of another zone.
“Zoning is not a covenant that cannot be amended,” he said.
By Abdullateef Salau & Itodo Daniel Sule