The spokesperson of the ninth Senate and the lawmaker representing Osun Central senatorial district, Senator Ajibola Basiru, has said that the ruling All Progressive Congress was likely to release the zoning formula for the 10th Assembly leadership after the Ramadan fast.
Senator Basiru made this known on Wednesday morning when he appeared on Sunrise Daily, a telecast on Channels Television. Party chieftains in the South-South and South-East had called for the zoning of the senate presidency to their regions in the spirit of fairness and to give other geo-political regions a sense of belonging in view of the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket adopted by the party.
So far, the ruling APC has the highest number of senators in both chambers and the lawmakers have started to throw their hats in the ring for the Senate President and Speaker seats. Presently, no fewer than eight senators had indicated an interest in the Senate Presidency race. They include Senators Jibrin Barau (Kano Central), Sani Musa (Niger East), Orji Kalu (Abia North), and GodsWill Akpabio (Akwa-Ibom North-West).
Others are Senators Osita Izunaso (Imo West), Patrick Ndubueze (Imo North), Abdul’Aziz Yari (Zamfara West), and Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North), amongst others.
Earlier in March, the President-elect and vice President-elect, Aiwaju Bola Tinubu, and Kashim Shettima, alongside the chairman of the party, Adamu Abdullahi met with the lawmakers-elect and told them to focus on winning governorship elections. The party also noted that another meeting would be called after the governorship election to lay before the lawmakers the zoning formula of the party.
However, a month after the conclusion of the governorship election, the party was yet to release the zoning or hold another meeting with the lawmakers. This silence, however, has continued to increase the tension in the polity as there are arguments about whether the party would still zone the 10th Assembly leadership or not.
Responding to the issue, Senator Basiru said, “I believe that our party will ultimately take a decision on the zoning possibly after Ramadan and certainly before June when the next Assembly will be convoked.”
He noted that beyond tribe and religion, there were other parameters that should be considered in the choice of the National Assembly leadership such as ranking, competence, capacity, and zonal contribution to the victory of Bola Tinubu in the February 25 presidential poll, amongst others.
He said, “It will be in the best interest of our party to zone the offices so that we can narrow the number of contestants because when you have eight persons from a single political party contesting, it creates a problem for us to have a cohesive force going into the election.”
Basiru also added that APC National Working Committee and the party’s National Executive Committee had not taken any decision yet on which of the six geopolitical zones will produce the next Senate President. He said, “I’m not aware that the NWC of our party has taken a position on the issue of zoning and where the zoning will be done.
“I’m not aware that the NEC of our party has taken any decision but party leaders will be making a lot of permutations to ensure a seamless relationship between the executive and the legislative arms.”