10th NASS Leadership: APC mulls retraction of endorsement after fresh media assessment


APC Online TV places Izunaso ahead Akpabio, Yari, Kalu

  • Tinubu seeks presiding slot for N’Central

…Lawan denies recontesting Senate Presidency


Ruling All Progressives Congress ( APC) and the President- elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu may have been boxed into a corner over zoning of leadership positions in both chambers of the National Assembly ahead inauguration of the 10th Assembly.

The dilemma follows results of an analysis on the chances of all the aspirants for the position of Senate President in the coming 10th National Assembly carried out by the APC online media outfit, the APC NewsOnline Television.

In a scientifically and objectively dissected balanced analysis, the news medium presented Senator Osita Izunaso as the only aspirant without a baggage and possessing the best qualifications in terms of legislative experience, intellectual capacity and commitment to the party.

The outfit which is popular for promoting and clarifying the APC’s core objectives and ideological direction, has always been on the APC general campaign machinery since the party ascendancy on the national scene, and is allied to the APC BroomPlatform, which is a grade A support group of the APC, and serving as the intellectual power house of the party.

After carrying out a strategic nationwide polling of Nigerian professionals, politicians and media practitioners on their legislative expectations for the next four years, it found a growing acceptance that while southeast should produce the Senate president, the Senator-elect from Imo West, a long time APC strategist should mount the rostrum of the red chambers. His stainless reputation and humble disposition despite being on the political scene for the past three decades unlike his main rival from the region, former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu.

It also found that similar charges by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) also made Godwill Akpabio unpalatable commodity for this most prestigious office especially as Nigerians optimistically look forward to a new political dispensation of renewed hope.

While most Nigerians wanted a Christian for the Senate presidency, they wanted one that could make a difference and build relationships to the people, after years of such a break in practice.

The poll also found that while Yari and Musa sani were considered men of integrity and sizable northern backing but that their disposition will make them open to an Osita Izunaso senate presidency, given that a northerner wields the deputy Senate Presidency and Northerners are projected to wield other principal positions.

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Senator Osita Izunaso, who recently joined the race for the Senate Presidency has been given the hitherto front-runners, former Governors God’swll Akpabio and Orji Uzor Kalu a run for their money. Recall that the APC on May 6, endorsed God’swll Akpabio, Jibrin Barau for the position of the Senate president and deputy Senate president while Tajudeen Abbas and Ben Kalu for Speakership and deputy speakership. But the endorsement has been generating ripples and disaffection leading to even open resistance and planned insurgency against the party hierarchy.

Few days back, National chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu admitted that the party took position without adequate consultation. Adamu made this known when he received the aggrieved aspirants and their supporters at the National Secretariat. But acknowledged the role of patience and the need to await the return of the president – elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Upon his return last Saturday, a Lagos based national daily reported that the President-elect would meet all the aspirants for both the Senate presidency and Speakership of the House of Representatives on Sunday but this turned out to be a ruse.

Competent sources close to the incoming president however disclosed that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was seriously studying the situation

And may not meet with the aspirants until after May 29 when he assumes full powers.

The president-elect was said to have made up his mind to tinker with the unpopular zoning formula and come up with a new one that would enhance national cohesion.

Meanwhile, outgoing Senate President, Ahmad Lawan has described as a ruse, news of his interest in the Senate Presidency race.

In a statement in Abuja Tuesday, the Yobe born politician said he preferred to remain a chieftain of the APC and will be readily on hand to join other leaders in finding solutions to squabbles within the party.

“I have read some media reports that I have joined the race for the Presidency of the 10th Senate. Ordinarily I would not have responded to these reports but when lies are not refuted, they have the tendency to create an illusion of truth.

“The truth is that I have never told anyone or held a meeting with anyone that I am running for the Presidency of the 10th Senate. So the public should discountenance the reports.

“The fact remains that I am part of the leadership of our great party, the APC, seeking to find solutions to the numerous issues arising from the contests for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly and I will continue to remain focused on that,” said Lawan.

Meanwhile , the zoning arrangement for the 10th National Assembly presiding officers announced by the All Progressives Congress, (APC) is heading for a collapse, following widespread opposition to the plan by major stakeholders.

The APC in its zoning arrangement had earlier zoned the principal positions in the Senate to South-South, deputy to North-West while the House of Representatives Speaker was also, zoned to North-West and the South-East, respectively.

Opposition to this arrangement of the party, led by Members-elect aspiring for the Speaker of the House known as the G7, disagreed, completely with the party National chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, promising that the party will go back to the drawing board when the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu returns to the country.

The G7 also, vowed to work in unity against the party’s anointed candidates for Speaker and Deputy Speaker, Rep Tajudeen Abbas (Kaduna, North-west) and Rep Benjamin Kalu, (Abia State, South-east).

Members of the G7 including Deputy Speaker of the House, Rep Ahmed Idris Wase; Chairman of the House Committee on Navy, Rep Yusuf Adamu Gagdi; Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations, Rep Muktar Aliyu Betara; Rep Sada Soli; Rep Mariam Onuoha and Rep Aminu Sani Jaji.

According to a statement by Rep Gagdi, a major contender in the Speaker-ship position in Abuja on Tuesday, “the group, among others, rejected the micro zoning of the leadership positions in the House, as well as the exclusion of the North-central region which has serially shown loyalty and dedication to the APC by votes delivered to the party in state and presidential elections.

“Based on new developments which followed the meeting of G7 members and the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu over the weekend, it is now, clear that the attempt by some elements within the APC to foist Rep Abbas on the House is not progressing as planned.

“The entire arrangement is being reconsidered and a new zoning arrangement that will be favourable to all parties, especially the North-central, is expected to be announced soon.

“This is especially as Senator Abdulaziz Yari from Zamfara, the same North-west zone as Rep Abbas, has refused to back down from the contest for Senate President.

“With Yari forging ahead, possibility of the Senate and the House, producing leaders who are Muslims is high and the president-elect has made it clear that he will not support the top four political positions in the country to be occupied by people of the same faith, hence his intervention in the zoning debacle to ensure that there is a balance,” Gagdi noted.

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