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Senators, reps will choose leaders on D-Day – Adamu

The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, has said that the party wants rancour-free elections for principal officers of…

The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, has said that the party wants rancour-free elections for principal officers of the incoming 10th National Assembly, explaining that despite the endorsement of any candidate, elections must be held for the lawmakers to decide.

Adamu who spoke when the party’s anointed candidates for the senate presidency, Godswill Akpabio (president) and Barau Jibrin (deputy), were accompanied to the party’s headquarters in Abuja, warned the APC lawmakers not to turn up late on the proclamation day in order to avoid a repeat of the past.

Adamu said: “We will wait till the 3rd of June on the floor of the House. I want us to have rancour-free elections on the floors because even if everybody says it is Akpabio or Y or X, the rules of the game say there must be elections.

“Those who are in the Senate are aware of the rules. On the D-Day, the president and the clerk make the proclamation. So, I do hope and pray that we will carry the day and be victorious. But let me warn you, don’t be late; I hope I am communicating. Once bitten is twice shy.”

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Adamu had last week received aspirants from the Senate and House of Representatives who visited the party’s national secretariat on separate days to register grievances over the zoning of the principal offices of the 10th assembly.

The NWC had picked a former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio (South-South), and Senator Barau Jibrin (North West) as preferred candidates for the senate president and deputy respectively.

The party equally picked the member representing Zaria Federal Constituency of Kaduna State, Tajudeen Abbas, and Hon Ben Kalu for the offices of speaker and deputy speaker respectively on the recommendations of the president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

But the development triggered unpleasant reactions, with many stakeholders calling for a review and rezoning of the various principal offices.


N/Central govs kick

Daily Trust reports that governors from the North Central rose from a crucial meeting in Abuja on Monday with a resolution rejecting the party’s zoning formula.

They reportedly appealed to the ruling party to review its zoning arrangement for the leadership positions in the 10th National Assembly.

The states’ chief executives were also said to have resolved to meet with the president-elect and Senator Adamu for possible reconsideration of the zoning template.

In a resolution signed by the attendees, including Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State and Chairman of North Central Governors Forum, the governors said they backed the position of the North Central senators-elect who had earlier demanded that the zone be allowed to produce the deputy senate president.

The resolution, made available to journalists, reads in part: “The meeting reviewed the proposed zoning structure released and promised to reach out to the president-elect, His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the APC National Working Committee to appeal for reconsideration of the zoning of the presiding offices of the National Assembly as released by the NWC.

“The meeting discussed the zoning as released and raised reservations with the allocation of the positions of the deputy senate president and the speaker of the House of Representatives of the 10th National Assembly to a particular geopolitical zone of the country.

“The meeting resolved and agreed to fully utilise all necessary dialogues and consultations to resolve the NASS leadership issue. They all agreed to reach out to all major stakeholders for an amicable and acceptable zoning framework that will be all-inclusive.

“The governors agreed with the aspirants’ positions and appealed to all senators and members-elect to continue to give Mr. President-elect all the support needed for the smooth take-up of the 10th National Assembly, while also furthering consultations.”


We have not rejected APC’s position — AbdulRazaq

Although media reports had listed AbdulRazaq as one of the governors that attended the meeting where the party’s zoning arrangement was rejected by the governors, the Kwara State chief executive on Tuesday said governors from the North Central had not made any public statement on the zoning formula for parliamentary positions.

He said the governors, being party leaders from the region, could not adopt a confrontational posture against the party’s position.

“But we are instead holding strategic meetings with different stakeholders to secure a better deal for the North Central.

“Media reports that we reject the party’s position are therefore a stretch of our approach. They are not factual.

“We have our channels of communication, and that is what we are exploring,” he said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, adding that: “We are party people and will not make any public statement or do anything that will rubbish its leadership or cause avoidable tension in the polity. That is not our way.”

However, Senator Akpabio during yesterday’s visit asked Adamu and other stakeholders of the party to prevail on the aggrieved aspirants and others not comfortable with his endorsement to respect the party’s decision.

Akpabio said it was the turn of the South to produce the next senate president, arguing that the region last had a senate president in 1979, stressing that his tenure as senate president would ensure stability and genuine change in the country.

Akpabio said, “The wise men from the National Working Committee graciously zoned it to the South-South. I want to thank you on behalf of the senators who are here and to say that the 10th Senate is totally different from all other senates. We have eight political parties. We have the APC, PDP, YPP, LP, NNPP, APP, and others.

“I want to appeal through you (Adamu) that you talk to some members of APC who have still not supported the party’s decision. When I was young I was told about three Gs to fear: one is God, then the Gun, and the Government.


Crack in opposition caucus

Meanwhile, members-elect of the opposition parties, called “The Greater Majority”, are divided over the speakership and deputy speakership candidates to support.

The Greater Majority has members across the seven opposition parties in the incoming 10th House of Representatives. The parties are the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Young Progressives Party (YPP), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Action Democratic Congress (ADC).

The group held two simultaneous meetings at the Transcorp Hilton and Frazier Suites in Abuja on Monday night to deliberate on the way forward.

However, the meetings ended on different notes, with one side supporting the All Progressives Congress (APC) consensus candidate, Tajuddeen Abbas, (APC, Kaduna) and Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia) as speaker and deputy respectively.

Rising from the meetings, the group that held its meeting at the Transcorp stated that they had resolved to remain united in support of Abbas as contained in a communiqué signed by the convener, Idu Igariwey, and Secretary, Kabiru Alhassan Rurum.

At the other meeting held at the Frazier Suites, Victor Afam Ogene, who disclosed the resolution reached by members at the meeting, said they didn’t have a definite candidate to support as no member of the minority had indicated an interest in the contest.

He said, “The committee called on members of the minority caucus who are interested in the speakership position or deputy speaker position to step forward.

“I wish to report on behalf of the chairman of that committee and the entire members, as at the end of the period given to undertake that assignment no member of the minority caucus better known as The Greater Majority stepped forward to contest for the role of presiding officers.

“Deductively, this means that we are not bidding for those two positions. However, we remain united as one caucus of the opposition parties.

“We did also meet with those aspiring for the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives, but because we’ve not briefed our members, I will not go into details of our interface. But I can assure you everyone that puts himself or her running for the position appears to be qualified.”

The opposition had earlier constituted an 11-man committee to shop for candidates for the speaker and deputy to contest for the 10th House of Representatives leadership.


By Saawua Terzungwe, Abdullattef Salau & Balarabe Alkassim

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