April 27, 2023

Tinubu rejects push to microzone Senate presidency to South South


…insists on Southern region as APC senators-elect queue behind Kalu

By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja

The President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has rejected a push by some forces in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to microzone the senate presidency of the incoming 10th National Assembly to south south geopolitical zone of the country.

On the contrary, Tinubu insisted that the office must be openly zoned to the entire southern region with no particular preference to any zone.

The development, it was learnt formed the details of what transpired at the Wednesday meeting with the President-elect, the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and some National Assembly members.

It was learnt that Tinubu outrightly rejected proposals made by some members of the APC leadership and three South West senators for the Senate Presidency to be micro-zoned to the South-South.

A reliable source told who pleaded anonymity said they the President-elect reasoned that since the members of the party supported the zoning of the presidency slot that produced him to South, it will not be logical for the same people to now adopt a micro-zoning system.

The source said that Tinubu insisted that zoning the senate presidency to the south will give all the qualified aspirants from South East and South South opportunity go into a fair contest for senators to make their choice, the same way APC delegates made their choice of a presidential candidate out of the lot.

It was also learnt that Tinubu cautioned the leadership against thrown the party into a crisis, directing an amendment to the NWC’s recommendations.

“The plot to have a sole South South candidate by zoning the office to the zone failed flat with President-elect who, in his wisdom, rejected pressures by some members of the party leadership and the Southwest senators for the zoning of the Senate presidency to the South South.

“There’s no truth in all that was reported in the media that the President and the NWC have settled for South South. The President insisted that the position should be zoned to the South region”, the source said.

Meanwhile, a senator-elect who didn’t want his name in print said that the majority of members-elect from South South zone amongst other senators have queued behind the current Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, who hails from the South-East geopolitical zone for the office.

Meanwhile, over 61 registered Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, have called on the leadership of ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to support aspirants from the South East geo-political zone to emerge as Senate President of the 10th National Assembly for sake of equity, justice and cohesion.

Converging on Abuja, Thursday under the umbrella body of Coalition of Civil Society Organisations for Peace and Unity of Nigeria, CCSOPUN, the CSOs said that allowing the south east zone to produce the next Senate President will address divisions and agitations in the area.

Chairman of the coalition, Dr. Onwubuya Abraham Breakforth in a statement said “We are saddened and concerned with the way the South East geo-political zone are being treated unfairly and unjustly in the political equation of our country.

“The outcome of the 2023 presidential election has further widened and deepened the disunity among Nigerians especially with the belief that the outcome of the election was allegedly manipulated to favour the All Progressives Congress, APC, against the perceived winner from the South East.

“Therefore, in order to heal the wounds that has been severally blushed, and silence the South-Eastern agitations and put the country in order.

“We hereby advocate that the All Progressives Congress, APC, and all the opposite political parties and all the newly elected and returning Senators and House of Representatives members-elect should strongly stand for South East Senator for Senate President seat.

“The South East has two APC governors against the South South’s one governorship seat.

“We are mentioning APC because it has the majority at the Senate. APC should look beyond interest but national cohesion. It shouldn’t be about number of votes from a particular zone to get the next Senate President.

“The current Deputy Senate President is from South South and you are giving the same South South the Senate President position in the 10th National Assembly, it’s not fair.”