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June 7, 2023

10th Assembly: Imposition of NASS leadership not in Tinubu’s interest – Northern elders 

10th Assembly: Imposition of NASS leadership not in Tinubu’s interest – Northern elders 

The Northern Elders Forum, NEF said imposition of leadership on the 10th National Assembly (NASS), that is about to be inaugurated, is not in the interest of President Bola Tinubu.

The NEF Spokesman, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed stated this in an interview with Channels Television’s Politics Today on Tuesday.

Baba-Ahmed  said, “It is not in the interest of President Tinubu to impose a leadership on the National Assembly. It is not in his interest,” 

“In fact, the farther that he (Tinubu) is away from the tussle of who becomes Senate President and Deputy the better,” he added.

The NEF spokesman stressed that legislators at the Senate and the House of Representatives should be allowed to decide their leaders without presidential interference.

He said, “Legislators should be allowed to decide where positions go. That is the argument I have made. I haven’t made an argument saying it must go to the North. I have said there are other elements that need to be considered.

“If the decision is made freely and fairly by legislators, it can go to the South, we will live with it. It can go to the North, we will deal with it. There is no problem.”

He said the position of the Senate President is Primus inter pares and anyone who finally emerges could be impeached.

Recall that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) secured record highest of 170 from  the 360 seats in the green chamber.

The main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came second with over 100 seats, the Labour Party (LP) with over 35 seats, the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) with about 20.

The APC lawmakers, who have  indicated interest in Speakership of the House, include: Benjamin Kalu, Ahmed Wase, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, Yusuf Gagdi, Aliyu Betara, Tajudeen Abbas, Abdulraheem Olawuyi, Sani Jaji, Princess Onuoha, amongst others.

Also, Senators Abdulaziz Yari, Orji Kalu, Godswill Akpabio have also showed interest in becoming the next Senate President after Ahmad Lawan.

But, the APC officially zoned the Senate President to the South-South (Akpabio) Deputy Senate President to the North-West, Barau Jibrin. The party also zoned the Speaker position to the North-West (Abass), and Deputy Speaker to the South-East (Kalu).

The zoning, however, was met with rejection by the APC hopefuls, who called for a review of the formula to cover the North Central geopolitical zone and not two positions for the North-West.

Their argument was that the North-West gave the President the highest vote and therefore deserves to be compensated.