10th NASS: APC May Decide On Zoning Senate Presidency, Speakership This Week

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are expected to meet this week to decide on the zoning positions in the 10th National Assembly.

The ruling party is working on resolving the issue around zoning before the inauguration of the lawmaker-elects in June 2023.

Sources that spoke with Sunday Telegraph noted that the NWC meeting aims to decide which zone produces the next Senate President.

Sources further stated that a meeting of lawmaker-elects held in March was to ensure that all members of the party support the choice of the party.

APC is trying to avoid the issue that happened in National Assembly in 2015.

One of our sources said: “The National APC leaders will meet next week, where they will decide on the zoning, as well to secure the buy-in of others on who becomes the Senate president as well as the Speaker.

“The Senate president will come from the South. The only person of note and ranking senator from the South-South is Godwin Akpabio, who is returning to the Red Chambers. Some people are campaigning that it should go to the North West. Ahmed Lawan to is still nursing the ambition to be the president of the Senate.”

There are indications that the absence of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, might have slowed the process of decision taking in the party.

The source said, “But the leadership of the party wants it to go to the South East for the simple fact that they do not want the APC to be seen as a Muslim dominated party since the President – elect and the Vice President – elect are all of the same faith.

“A meeting where the post and the zoning would be decided will come up after the Eid el-Fitir. People are begging, claiming they want a stable senate and not rocking the boat. APC won in Imo. Therefore, it should go to Imo State. The odds seem to favour Osita Izunazo. He knows a lot of influential people, as a result of being a one – time national organizing secretary of the party.

“However, a contender from the North West, Senator Bagos said it should not go to the South East, if the number of votes APC won in the zone is anything to go by. The choice of the president of the senate should be the complete decision of members.

“Some people are carrying on wooing some influential people in the South South, thereby leading to a bitter struggle on who becomes the leader of the National Assembly.”

Another source said: “Next week, the preferred candidate and the zoning of the new president will come up. The leadership of the party said the new president should not be bogged down by problems arising from the choice of leadership of the National Assembly like they had in 2015.

“There is a strong coalition of the LP, NNPP, and PDP. They are also meeting with some members of the APC. They also want to have a major say if one of them can be the leader. It can be somebody from the ruling party but not someone imposed on them by the party.

“If the APC gets it wrong, it will affect the stability as well as the implementation of its policies and programme.

“Nonetheless, the key men of the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, are testing the waters to ensure that they galvanise support for the president.

“The president- elect, they are saying does not have a preferred candidate; he is ready to work with any candidate that the party endorses in order to go with the harmony, pay attention to the person, who will get the support of all. It could be somebody of another faith. The President is not averse to the president of the Senate coming from another faith.

“It will be a defining moment for the APC if they get it right. The fight for protecting the mandate is going on in full throttle, they can’t afford not to succeed. They are also going round to defend the election, so that it is not discredited.”

The source speaking on the issue of Speakership said, “There has begun to be a rapprochement between the LP, PDP and other parties to produce the speaker of the House of Representatives.

“It is going to be a fight between Wase and Tajudeen Abbas from Kaduna; they are saying that they would not allow that to happen, including the ones who feel aggrieved by the outcome of the election including one or two renegades in APC.

“They are insisting they want to independently produce their own leaders without being tele-guided by the party. What happened in 2015 would repeat itself.

“There are those who are saying that Gbajabiamila cannot dictate to them. There is a groundswell attempt at forming a formidable and credible opposition against the APC.”

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