No fewer than 18 Senators-Elect across the North-Central geopolitical zone from different political parties have rejected the zoning arrangements for the 10th National Assembly leadership positions announced by the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday.
The APC had in the zoning plans, endorsed Senator Godswill Akpabio from the South-South geopolitical zone as the President of the 10th Senate while Senator Barau Jibrin from the North-West was picked as his deputy.
Also in the House of Representatives, the APC endorsed Tajudeen Abass from the North-West as the Speaker and Benjamin Kalu from the South-East as deputy.
The development forced the North Central Senators-Elect to write an open letter to the National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Adamu and rejected the zoning arrangements because it excluded their region.
Specifically, the elected federal lawmakers said only the North Central geopolitical zone did not produce any presiding officer despite the fact that neither the President-Elect nor the Vice President-Elect Elect.
The letter by the lawmakers-elect was titled, “Resolution of the North Central Caucus of the 10th Senate on NASS Leadership Zoning”.
It was signed by 18 Senators-elect including, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa (Niger East); Senator Ashiru Oyelola Yisa (Kwara South); Senator Sadiq Umar Suleiman (Kwara North); Senator-elect Mustapha Saliu (Kwara Central) and Senator Isah Jibrin (Kogi East).
Others are, Senator Abba Moro (Benue South); Senator Godiya Akwashiki (Nassarawa North); Senator-elect Ahmed Aliyu Wadada(Nassarawa West); Senator-elect Ireti Kingibe (FCT); Senator-elect Sunday Karimi Steve (Kogi West); Senator-elect Ohere Sadiku Abubakar (Kogi Central) and Senator-elect Peter Ndalikali Jiya (Niger South).
They also included Senator-elect Napoleon Binkap Bali (Plateau South); Senator-elect Mwadkion Simon Davou (Plateau North); Senator-elect Diket Plang (Plateau Central); Senator-elect Mohammed O. Onawo (Nassarawa South); Senator-elect Emmanuel M. Udende (Benue East) and Senator-elect Titus Tartenger Zam (Benue West).
Part of the letter read, “We the North Central Senators-elect Caucus met on Monday the 8th May 2023 and resolved as follows:
“That the North Central as a geopolitical zone in Nigeria has paid its dues in the political stability of the country and shall continue to do so, but where we see open denial of our rights and privileges, we will have no option than to voice out in the interest of the zone and it’s people we represent.
“It is pertinent to know that we are fully committed to supporting the incoming administration of the President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for a better Nigeria.
“This can only happen if fairness, equity and justice are ensured. It is on record that the North Central gave the APC 41 per cent of her votes to victory, hence we equally deserve it as others.
“Our caucus reviewed the proposed zoning structure released, and we are not pleased and comfortable with the allocation of the Positions of the Deputy Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the 10th National Assembly to a particular geopolitical zone of the country (North-West), we hereby reject it.
“The convention has always been that the six geopolitical zones of the country will have one each of the six positions.
“Now that the South West and North East have produced the President-elect and Vice President-Elect respectively, it is only fair and natural that the positions of the Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives should be shared amongst the other four geopolitical zones, that is the North Central, South-South, South East and North West.
“Sequel to the above, we as a caucus is calling on the All Progressives Congress (APC) to immediately retract its earlier decision which schemes us out of the power sharing formula of the Country and cede the position of the Deputy Senate President to the North Central Zone so as to ensure fairness, equity and justice for a smooth 10th Senate.”