Politics

May 22, 2023

10th NASS: Senate presidency should reflect competence, integrity, not ethnicity – AYCF

10th NASS: Senate presidency should reflect competence, integrity, not ethnicity – AYCF

By Biodun Busari

As the 10th National Assembly leadership tussle continues, the National President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Yerima Shettima has said competence, integrity and national outlook should be the factors on which the new Senate President emerge.

Shettima said the senators have the capacity to decide whether the senate presidency should be ceded to the South-East region or not, adding that “Nigeria has come a long way from the era of tying national responsibilities to specific ethnic groups.”

AYCF President made these known in an interview with Vanguard at the weekend while reacting to the zoning formula and permutation being debated by the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“I think the issue of the Senate Presidency should be about who contributed what votes to the victory of the ruling party, which has the majority in the Senate at the moment. The Senators are mature enough to take care of themselves by appointing the candidate they feel has the competence, the integrity, and the national outlook,” Shettima said.

“I doubt if it will be about Igbo candidates or such other considerations. Nigeria has come a long way from the era of tying national responsibilities to specific ethnic groups. And whether or not it would be unfair if the Senate Presidency slot goes to the Igbo or not, that will be determined by the real outcome of the new senators’ choice of leaders on the floor of the chamber in June.”

Speaking on the emergence of President-elect Bola Tinubu after the 2023 presidential election, Shettima said, “The emergence of Bola Tinubu is historic because he got fewer votes in his immediate constituency than his opponents. He got more votes in the North, which means the election was a clear example that Nigeria’s voting pattern is fast changing.”

About the election petitions challenging Tinubu’s victory, he said, “I don’t want to comment on the merit or demerit of the election by adjudging it fair or otherwise because it’s a matter before the Election Petitions Tribunal. 

“The case is ongoing and no verdict from the court yet. I’m sure at the end of the ongoing case before the tribunal, Nigerians will see the final verdict of the Tribunal. That will be the best time to comment freely.”