Senators from the north, particularly those who were elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), have vowed to rebel against the party if the contentious zoning blueprint for the 10th National Assembly leadership is not reconsidered.
This was made known yesterday in Abuja when certain Senate president candidates paid a visit to the APC’s National Working Committee (NWC).
Specifically, former Governor of Zamfara State and Senator-elect, Abdulaziz Yari, said the entire North would revolt over the issue.
The party adopted Senators Godswil Akpabio, for the position of Senate President, the Speakership and Deputy Speakership to North-West and South-East and chose Tajudeen Abass and Ben Kalu for the slots. The party said those selected were also the choices of President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
The North-Central geopolitical zone’s 18 newly elected senators, have railed against the arrangement and specifically denounced the zone’s absence.
Meanwhile, seven speakership aspirants drawn from the North-West, North-East, North-Central and South-East have also kicked against the zoning formula and sought redress.
The Senator Abdullahi Adamu-led NWC of the ruling APC, alarmed by the threats made by Senators-elect and members-elect to rebel against its zoning template at the National Assembly’s June 13 inauguration, yesterday began an urgent problem-solving parley with aggrieved Senate presidency contenders.
The national chairman of the party, who presided over the meeting at Adamu’s request, advised the candidates to hold their tongue, saying the party was waiting for the return of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to undertake more consultations on the issue.
The foursome of Kalu, Musa, Yari, and Izunaso, who wrote a letter of protest to the NWC, had threatened to ignore the party’s zoning formula and launch fierce, bipartisan campaigns to realize their goals.
While speaking on the issue, Yari said if the current zoning formula is not changed, the North will revolt.
He said: “We are here to present our letter of grievances to you and also tell this house as leaders that we are not satisfied with the arrangement. What we are expecting from you is to give us fair play.
“We have been in this game and we understand it very well and it is about dialogue. We are saying that yes, the party is supreme, and we are looking at the election we won in 2023 and the next election in 2027 and it depends on how we play our part.
“The president-elect got 63.4 per cent of votes from the North. Where he comes from, the South, he got 36.6 per cent. So, if there is anyone who can say we own APC and the president-elect, it is Northern Nigeria, without undermining any part of the country. They have given their best and we can understand their situation but justice needs to be done. We should not be blinded that the power of anyone is not absolute but only God is absolute. We should not look at these four years as 20 years. We are going back to the next election. We should underline that.
The contestants at the meeting with the NWC were Senators Orji Kalu and Sani Musa as well as Senator-elect, Abdulaziz Yari. The fourth aggrieved aspirant, Senator Osita Izunaso, was absent on assignment to his home state, Imo, where Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was flagging off the hydrographic survey/dredging of the sea route from Oguta Lake to the Atlantic Ocean.