Senate Presidency : Yari defies APC Zoning arrangement, intensifies campaign


…as Obono Obla calls for Yari’s suspension from party

By Haruna Salami

Former Governor of Zamfara State and Senator – elect for Zamfara West , Abdulaziz Yari, declared on Monday in Abuja that he is in the race for the Presidency of the 10th Senate in line with constitutional provisions and not zoning arrangement made by any political party .

Yari, to represent Zamfara West told journalists at the sideline of induction programme held for Senators and Members – elect for the 10th National Assembly at International Conference Centre ( ICC) , that his aspiration is not an affront against his party , the All Progressives Congress ( APC ) .

But eight days after , Yari insisted that he is still in the race as provided for by section 50 ( 2) of the 1999 Constitution, despite decision of National Working Committee of APC to zone the Presidency of the Senate to South – South in person of Godswill Akpabio and Deputy President of the Senate to North West in person of Jibrin Barau.

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” My aspiration for Presidency of the 10th Senate is covered by relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution which to me , is superior to any other law or arrangement .

” I am a loyal party man , nobody has told me that any position has been zoned to anywhere as far as the 10th National Assembly is concerned.

” Position of President of the Senate , is first among equals among the 109 Senators . Any Senator – elect who wants to occupy the position , must seek for support of others which i am doing .

” It is hire and fire arrangement . I want them to hire me as President of the 10th Senate on the day of inauguration . Many of those approached by me , have given their supports and i won’t disappoint them .

” My becoming Senate President on the day of inauguration lies with decision that will be made by 108 other Senators that day and nothing else “, he said .

Throwing his weight behind him , another Senator – elect from Zamfara State , Sahabi Ya’u , told journalists at separate interview, that as far as he and many of the Senators – elect on the platform of APC are concerned, the zoning made by the party , was not known to them .

” I read about the zoning arrangement in the papers like other people . Nobody has discussed such a plan with us and in any case, Senators – elect are the ones to decide who they want as President or Deputy President “, he said .

Also commenting on the issue at another interview session with journalists , Senator Victor Umeh (Labour Party , Anambra Central ), said Senators – elect and not party arrangement , will decide who becomes what and what on the day of inauguration .

” APC as the ruling party and the party with majority of seats in the Senate , has zoned the positions of President and Deputy President of the 10th Senate to the zones it felt deserves them , but on the day of inaguration , Senators – elect will decide the fate of those interested in the positions as provided for , by relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution “, he said .

Meanwhile, a chieftain of the APC and
former special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on prosecution, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla has called on the ruling party to discipline Yari over his defiance to party decision.

According to Obla, the former governor need to be axed before he cause grave disorder withing the party with his divisive statement.

He said Yari’s utterances had become disrespectful and capable of splitting the party into factions.

He berated the ex-governor for threatening that the APC would cease to exist if the North does not get the Senate Presidency.

Such daring statement, he described as arrogant, insensitive unexpected from a supposed national leader like Yari

“I shudder at such unreasonableness which Yari is exhibiting,” he said.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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