On Thursday, disgruntled Senate President candidates in the 10th National Assembly threatened to ignore the micro-zoning policy announced by the ruling All Progressives Congress.
The senators complained that no candidate was consulted before the formal decision was made when they met with the party leadership and members of the National Working Committee.
They cautioned, among other things, that if the APC leadership does not limit the zoning structure to geopolitical zones, it might result in an open uprising because the resentful aspirants will flagrantly disrespect the party.
Abdulaziz Yari, the former governor of Zamfara, Osita Izunaso, the senator-elect for Imo West, Sani Musa, the senator for Niger East, Umar Sadiq, the senator for Kwara North, and the Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu, who just lost his wife, were among the lawmakers present.
Three days prior, the Senate president position had been micro-zoned by the ruling party to Senator Godwin Akpabio, who had previously served as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs. Senator Jibrin Barau, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, had been named as Akpabio’s prospective deputy in the 10th Assembly.
Tajudeen Abass, a well-liked Kaduna politician, was given the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives in the Green Chamber, while the South East representative-elect won the position of Deputy Speaker.
Speaking to the NWC members, Musa stated that due to its significant contributions, the North cannot be disregarded when it comes to compensating regions for votes and political success.
The senator-elect for Niger East pleaded with the party’s leadership not to gamble any longer, claiming that an internal democracy would have provided the required consensus candidates.
There are moments when we shouldn’t push our luck, he said. The NWC met with the incoming president. Elect President, you have my respect. He is a political operative. He is completely familiar with it. He will have access to everything that an organ like APC brings to him. whoever tells him anything. He’ll want to combine his opinions.
We have been arguing that the current situation cannot continue, but how can we expect to bring about change if we don’t enable internal democracy to flourish? I have no doubt that you will return and take another look, particularly when we are discussing internal democracy as even the question of the national parliament falls under this heading.
Another contender of northern descent named Yari reiterated his position.
The senator stated to the NWC members and party leadership that everyone, even northern senators, should be given a level playing field to decide their fate.
“Mr. Chairman, we have played this game and are very familiar with it,” Yari replied. It’s all about the conversation. We anticipate at the very least a fair game from you. Now, if you look at how the Senate was calculated, it is not magic.
We are not criticizing what you are doing, Mr. Chairman. We are taking this action to help the party expand. It won’t be good if we in the North make another choice. We don’t want that to go down in history, which is what will happen. If the situation changes, Walahi in northern Nigeria will make a different choice.
Kalu, a two-term governor of Abia State, also spoke in favor of the area, claiming that it was undemocratic to write down the names of preferred candidates.
He issued a warning, saying that it would be unfair to blame his South Eastern constituents for skipping the party during the presidential election for clear reasons.
The senator added that when sharing political and parliamentary seats in the nation, federal character rather than votes should be a key factor.
He claimed that if the present micro-zoning system is not reformed, they will be compelled to defy the ruling party’s directives before the inauguration.
I implore you guys to give the South East something fair and worthwhile, he urged. When it comes to elections, four years is comparable to four days. Not that I think what you folks have done is really attractive. However, it is improper to micro-zone people and write down their names. It is undemocratic and in violation of each candidate’s constitutional rights. That was not authorized for the National Assembly under Section 51 of the Constitution.
“We’re going to object and reject it. I love to have fun. I’ve never broken this party’s rules. We will decline the party’s request for the first time today. On the Senate floor, we’ll declare that we’re not going to do this. We find this to be unacceptable. I won’t want to do that because doing so would be disrespectful to the party. With only 18 to 19 days left, there is still time to solve the problem. It will be better if the party reconsiders, thinks things through, and calls a consultative meeting.
Adamu requests restraint.
Senator Abdullahi Adamu, the National Chairman of the ruling party, responded to the complaints by urging the disgruntled aspirants to exercise patience and let the party reengage with the president-elect and other stakeholders.
The APC chair also acknowledged that the situation might have been handled more effectively if all of the candidates had been supported, as he had advised some disappointed House of Representatives candidates on Wednesday.
Hold the flames until we have finished speaking, he commanded. Although we, the NWC, are the party’s caretakers, we do not act in isolation. A crucial voice is that of the president-elect. We must make every effort to accommodate him. I’m not willing to give in on that. He is currently traveling abroad. By the grace of God, when Jesus returns, we will start over and reassemble our minds to see what we can come up with. I can’t stop that.
I’ll hold off until after our meeting with Mr. President-elect and the group we already met with. We will expand the committee as necessary. Through our contributions, we shall become better informed.