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Saturday, 03 June 2023 05:16

Senate Presidency: Tinubu’s Fresh Intervention May Alter Zoning

North-central may produce DSP


The leadership tussle in the National Assembly is about to take an interesting dimension following a meeting between President Bola Tinubu and the duo of Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, at the Presidential Villa on Thursday.

Investigations by our correspondent revealed that Tinubu, following series of complaints that greeted the zoning arrangement of the principal offices in the two chambers of the federal parliament, decided to intervene in order to find an amicable solution to the issue which was already creating tension among the lawmakers.

A reliable source told our Correspondent in confidence that Tinubu specifically gave a definite assignment to Lawan and Gbajabiamila to ensure that double nomination was avoided in both chambers on June 13.

The source said the presiding officers told the President pointblank that there was no way a zoning arrangement which excludes the North Central and gave two slots to the North West would work.

The source said, “The President wanted to avoid all forms of distractions and ill-feelings among members-elect of the 10th National Assembly so that he could concentrate on the onerous task of providing good governance.

“As we are all aware, the National Assembly is very critical. Since the APC has the highest number of members in both chambers, it was the president’s opinion that the leadership must not be imposed.”

Further investigations by our correspondent revealed that both Lawan and Gbajabiamila had asked all aspirants to put their houses in order to avoid rancour on the day of inauguration.

Towards this development, the camp of Godswill Akpabio and Barau Jibrin met at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja on Thursday night for several hours.

Similarly, the Senate Democratic Caucus which has the likes of Senator Abdulaziz Yari, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, and Osita Izunaso, also met at Destination Hotel in Wuse 2, Abuja.

Meanwhile, our Correspondent learnt that another meeting called by the Democratic Caucus group at the Wuse Zone two, was holding simultaneously then.

It will be recalled that Tinubu and the National Working Committee of the APC had zoned the position of the Senate President to the South-south and specifically endorsed Akpabio as its candidate with Senator Barau Jibrin as deputy.

Kalu, Yari, Izunaso and others had objected to the action of the APC’s leadership and vowed to contest against the Akpabio/Jibrin ticket on Inauguration Day.

Speaking at a meeting of the forum of APC non serving senators on Thursday evening, a leader of the party, former governor Segun Osoba, urged the ex-senators to reach out to the aggrieved aspirants with a view to dousing the current tension caused by the zoning arrangements.

Osoba said, “I want to appeal to you on two issues. Let us all organise a serious lobby system by convene a meeting of all aspirants for the position of Senate President in 10th Senate to make them see reason why they should toe the line of the party.

“The Party has decided on zoning and has zoned the positions. We cannot afford to start this government on another crises. The fuel subsidy removal crisis is already there.

“Let us go back to our states and lobby our senators-elect to support the choice of the party. With this I believe we shall achieve our goal without any hitch.”

“A former Nigeria Ambassador to Ghana, Musiliu Obanikoro, also appealed to the anointed aspirants to reach out to the aggrived ones in order to find an amicable solution to the issue.

He said, “Don’t also take any senator elect for granted. Don’t say some people are in safe zone, they don’t need special treatment. Let us reach out to everyone in a dignified manner after all, other aspirants are doing it.”

The Director General of the Akpabio/Jibrin Stability Group, Senator Ali Ndume, however, disagreed with Obanikoro on the occasion.

He said, “We are Distinguished Senators, I disagreed with the suggestion of the last Speaker (Obanikoro), who suggested that we should do what other aspirants are doing. It is disgusting to think Senators should be bought over with money.”

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