A consensus Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives for the 10th National Assembly may be chosen by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, according to certain indicators.
The zoning of the National Assembly primary offices was the subject of resolutions made at a stakeholders meeting on Wednesday at the Defence House in Abuja, according to newsmen.
At the meeting were Tinubu, Senator Kashim Shettima, Vice-President-elect; Ahmad Lawan, Senate President; Ovie Omo-Agege, Deputy Senate President; Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives; and Governor Abdulrasaq Abdulrahman of Kwara State.
The National Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore, the Kaduna House of Assembly Speaker, Yusuf Zailani, the Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Abubakar Kyari, and the National Chairman of the ruling APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, were also present.
A party insider present at the meeting told Newsmen that the idea of consensus was put out to prevent a contentious debate and to maintain togetherness.
According to the source, the party leaders present at the conference agreed by consensus to elect the new chairman and deputy chairman of the National Assembly.
He said: “Consensus is being proposed to ensure that the contest is not acrimonious. APC does not want a situation where the race will lead to crisis.”
The insider further revealed that since the President-elect and his deputy, Senator Kashim Shettima, both Muslims, the party leaders were inclined to choose a Christian Senate President out of complete sensitivity to religious concerns.
He claimed that in order to promote inclusion and a sense of belonging, the APC leaders were in favor of an equitable distribution of the six key offices between the Red and Green Chambers among the six geopolitical zones.
The Deputy Senate President, Deputy Speaker, Senate Majority Leader, House Majority Leader, Chief Whips, and Deputy Chief Whips are additional posts in addition to the Senate President and House Speaker.
The source said: “The party noted the ambition of its senators and House members and contented that it is in order. The zoning of the Senate President was considered and there was the feeling that since the number one and two citizens are Muslims, the number three citizen should be a Christian.”
He added that the majority is in favor of the South-South producing the Senate President and that the party leaders also resolved that no zone will be left out in the allocation of the principal offices.
The source emphasized that the party, in addition to winning a sizable portion of the vote in the election, added that it had seven senators from the region.
The source did emphasize that Southeast, which delivered six APC senators, had a strong case as well.
He added: “It was a lengthy deliberation. Party leaders favoured the zoning of the House Speaker to the Northwest, which gave the ruling party the highest number of votes during the elections.
“There was also a consideration for the zoning of the Deputy Senate President to the Northcentral and the Deputy House Speaker to the South East. The belief of the party is that no zone should be left out.”
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