The All Progressives Congress (APC) has objected to Northern senators eyeing the seat of the Senate presidency.
According to the party, any Northerner vying for the leadership of the senate has not an iota of respect for the party’s constitution.
A statement made by the National Vice Chairman of the APC (North-West), Malam Salihu Lukman and the party’s Director of Publicity, on Monday, Bala Ibrahim, admonished the northern senators contesting the post to step down for the sake of fairness and equality.
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About eight senators had shown interest in the seat, the list of which includes Senators Jibrin Barau (Kano Central), Sani Musa (Niger East), Orji Kalu (Abia North), and GodsWill Akpabio (Akwa-Ibom North-West ).
Others are Senators Osita Izunaso (Imo West), Peter Ndubuze (Imo North), Abdul’Aziz Yari (Zamfara West), and Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North), amongst others.
Lukman who called for Yari and Barau and others from the northern region to step down for the race explained that it was imperative for the party to zone the Senate Presidency to either the South-South or South-East for the sake of national unity.
The APC chieftain made the appeal in a statement issued in Abuja titled ‘Cash-and-Carry contest for leadership of 10th National Assembly.’
He said, “It is therefore very compelling that the Senate President should come from either the South-South or South-East. I want to specifically note that two respected Senators-elect from North-West have made public declarations about their aspirations for the position of Senate President. These are His Excellency Abdulaziz Yari and Senator Barau Jibrin.
“Now that power has shifted to the Southern part of the country, as a region, we equally have the responsibility to regulate the conduct of all our Senators-elect from the North-West, including the two Senators-elect Abdulaziz Yari and Barau Jibrin to withdraw their aspiration for the Senate President.
“All party leaders from North-West must prevail on these leaders to in the overall interest of the unity and peaceful coexistence of the country withdraw their aspirations to contest the position of Senate President for the 10th Senate. At the most, they should aspire for the position of Majority Leader of the Senate in line with the 1999 zoning formula in the Senate.”
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Lukman, a member of the APC National Working Committee, reiterated that no North-West or North-East candidate should be considered for the position.
“These are aspiring candidates for these positions, two of them Muslims from North-West aspiring for the position of Senate President and one of them from North-East aspiring for the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives, who are desperately mobilising support.
“Certainly, these aspirants know that there is a very high probability that once the party is allowed to finalise the processes of zoning positions of leadership, the probability is high that these positions would be zoned to other sections of the country outside theirs.
“’It should be very clear that any person whose aspiration for the position of Senate President, the number three highest ranking position in the Federal Government, who is a Muslim will not mean well for Nigeria and will be working to undermine the electoral viability of APC as a political party.”
“Any Muslim aspiring for the position of Senate President has no respect for both the constitutions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the APC. ’This is because chapter II, section 14(3) of the Nigerian constitution clearly outlined that ‘the composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.”
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