Senate Presidency: APC may settle for S-South, tips N-West for Deputy

Abuja—Barring any last-minute changes, the All Progressives Congress (APC) may zone the positions of Senate President and Deputy Senate President to the South-South and North-West geo-political zones respectively, Vanguard reports.

Though the party is yet to come up with an official position on the zoning of 10th National Assembly leadership slots, multiple sources say the South-South zone may get the Senate President’s position. 

The APC has won 57 seats so far, while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has 27 seats.

Others are Labour Party (LP) six seats; New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) two seats; and Social Democratic Party (SDP) two seats. The Young Progressives Party (YPP) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) have one seat each.

So far, those who have thrown their hats in the ring for the 10th Senate presidency include, serving Senate President, Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe North); Senator Sani Musa (APC, Niger East); Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (APC, Abia North); Senator Jibrin Barau (APC Kano North); Senator Godswill Akpabio (APC, Akwa Ibom North-West); Deputy Senate leader, Senator Abdul Ningi (APC, Bauchi Central); and Senator Abdul- Aziz Yari (APC, Zamfara);

Also, there are insinuations that Governor David Umahi (APC, Ebonyi South) and Adams Oshiomhole (APC, Edo North), are interested in becoming senate president. 

Also, Senator Ali Ndume from Borno and Senator Osita Izunaso from Imo State have both declared their intentions to run for the office.

Multiple sources say the party is still making consultations across board before settling for competent and trusted persons that will run the affairs of the National Assembly and share in the vision of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu.

It was further gathered that top party leaders are rooting for Senators Godswill Akpabio and Barau Jubrin from Akwa Ibom and Kano states for the positions of Senate President and Deputy Senate President respectively.

The source, who spoke under anonymity, said: “We are not even bothered much about where the speaker would go because the bigger issue has to be sorted out before any other one; and the bigger issue is that of the Senate President.

“Once that is sorted out, others will automatically sort out naturally. Among the contenders, we have seen very competent hands and trustworthy persons who share in the vision of the incoming administration. 

“Apart from that, we are also looking at state performances as well as party loyalty. Quite honestly, we have been on this matter for weeks and we have been making informal consultations across board, including those outside our party.

“Tentatively, we are likely to present the zoning suggestions in respect of Senate alone, to the president-elect and we will discuss others subsequently. 

“If not for some obvious reasons of balancing, North-West, particularly, Senator Barau Jubrin would have been a perfect fit. But we have to bend backwards and appeal to him and the zone to allow the South-South take the shot while we beef up the seat with his (Jubrin) adoption as deputy senate president.

“And it is not a question of guessing who could be. We all know Senator Godswill Akpabio is the only ranking senator that could be considered.”

Another source, who spoke in confidence, said the choice of who emerges either the Senate President or Speaker of the House of Representatives will be subject to approval by the President-elect, Tinubu.

The source said: “In all we are conceiving, we are still at the realm of suggestions on how to navigate around the issue of leadership in the next National Assembly.

“Everything will still have to be subject to the thoughts, approval and implementation of the incoming president who is expected back before next week.”

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