Bola Tinubu Rejects APC’s Push To Microzone Senate Presidency To South South
The president-elect, Bola Tinubu has reportedly disagreed with the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the zoning of the leadership of the incoming 10th National Assembly.
The development formed the details of what transpired at the Wednesday meeting with Tinubu, the leadership of the APC, and some National Assembly members.
It was gathered that Tinubu outrightly rejected proposals made by the APC leaders and three South West senators for the Senate Presidency to be zoned to the South-South.
According to Vanguard, the president-elect insisted that the office must be openly zoned to the entire southern region with no particular preference for any zone.
A reliable source who pleaded anonymity said Tinubu reasoned that since the members of the party supported the zoning of the presidency slot that produced him to the South, it will not be logical for the same people to now adopt a micro-zoning system.
The source said that Tinubu insisted that zoning the senate presidency to the south will give all the qualified aspirants from South East and South-South opportunity to go into a fair contest for senators to make their choice, the same way APC delegates made their choice of a presidential candidate out of the lot.
It was also learnt that Tinubu cautioned the leadership against throwing the party into a crisis, directing an amendment to the NWC’s recommendations.
“The plot to have a sole South-South candidate by zoning the office to the zone failed flat with the President-elect who, in his wisdom, rejected pressures by some members of the party leadership and the Southwest senators for the zoning of the Senate presidency to the South-South.
“There’s no truth in all that was reported in the media that the President and the NWC have settled for South-South. The President insisted that the position should be zoned to the South region”, the source said.
Competent sources revealed that elements around Senator Godswill Akpabio had infiltrated the APC NWC to influence members to push for the micro-zoning of the office of Senate President to the South-South.
The game plan of the Akpabio camp, it was gathered, was that if this scales through, the Akwa Ibom senator, being the only ranking APC senator from the zone, will become the sole candidate.
But a senator-elect who didn’t want his name in print said that the majority of members-elect from the South-South zone amongst other senators have queued behind the current Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, who hails from the South-East geopolitical zone for the office.
He said: “The three senators from South West lied to the president-elect Tuesday night that all of them from the zone were supporting Akpabio for Senate President, but Asiwaju couldn’t be fooled. He cross-checked the claim by reaching out to the other senators-elect only to discover it was untrue.
“As South-westerners, we have good relationship with all Nigerians and these three senators cannot speak for us. They are not our leaders and cannot take South-west senators for granted. Our leader is a former governor who is also a senator.
“For us, we have resolved to do the right thing for the country since it’s the only way Asiwaju (president-elect) can succeed as president. We have chosen to support fairness and justice as this country is built on a tripod – Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba.
“We are happy that the president-elect did not listen to them because he is not petty. He likes fairness and he wants to do the right thing. The 12 senators from the South-west already have a preferred candidate. We have 11 senators and one ranking senator who have endorsed Senator Orji Uzor Kalu for president and Senator Sani Musa for Deputy Senate President.
“The northern senators and southern senators believe in the leadership of these two senators and there is no going back. The good news is that Asiwaju has strong character and will stand firm on his personal convictions.”
Daily Sun gathered that majority of senators-elect in the APC are rooting for Kalu to lead the 10th Senate. Those from the North, it was gathered, said the former governor of Abia State stands out, going by his pedigree.
KanyiDaily recalls that Femi Fani-Kayode had also said the 10th Senate would be in a competent hand under the leadership of Orji Kalu as Senate President.