June 3, 2023

10th NASS: Senate President has not been zoned, no zoning template — Izunaso



  • Boasts that he is the  next Senate President that will rebrand NASS, Whatever thing he has made today, Journalism prepared him for that
  • Says of all aspirants contesting for Senate President, no one has the Legislative Experience like him
  • NUJ Backs Izunaso for Senate President as a Colleague

By Henry Umoru,

AHEAD of the inauguration of the National Assembly, Senator-elect, Senator Osita  Izunaso, APC, Imo West has said that the ruling party has not zoned the positions for the Presiding offices in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, just as he said that the party merely advised.

Izunaso who boasted that he would be the President of the Senate in the 10th National Assembly, stressed that of all the aspirants contesting for the third position in the country, none has the legislative experience compared to what he has garnered over the years.

Speaking with Journalists yesterday in Abuja after his visit to the National Secretariat of the Nigeria Union. of Journalists, NUJ, Senator Izunaso who paid glowing tributes to the Journalism profession where he carved his nitch, said that whatever he has made today, the profession prepared him, it exposed him and gave him the experiences.

The Senator-elect was accompanied by Senators- elect, Monday Okpebholo, APC, Edo Central and Benson Konbowei, PDP, Bayelsa Central and they were received by the National President of NUJ, Chris Ikechukwu  Isiguzo; NUJ National Secretary, Shuaibu Usman Leman, among others.

Speaking further, Izunaso who noted that the country was not at its best at this point of time, however, promised to rebrand the National Assembly as the President of the Senate against the backdrop that Nigerians are looking up to the 10th Senate to provide the needed hope and succour for the people, just as he promised that Nigerians should have their hope assured.

According to him, as the President of the Senate, he would formulate a robust legislative agenda that would look at national unity for good and effective governance, security of lives and property, to address youth restiveness, look at the problem of unemployment, the economy, among others.

Also recall that the  APC had announced the endorsement of Senator Godswill Akpabio and three others for the topmost positions in the National Assembly. Senator Akpabio from South-South was endorsed for Senate President, Senator Jibrin Barau from North-west for Deputy Senate President, Honourable Tajudeen Abass, North-west for Speaker, House of Representatives and  Hon. Kanu, South-East for Deputy Speaker.

The decision did not however go down well with some members of the party and especially those aspiring for the position of Presiding offices in both the Senate and the House of Representatives as there were protests, condemnations and strong criticisms across the country. 

Consequently, the Senate Whip and former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, former Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, Osita Izunaso, among others have continually kicked against the decision of the party as they have vowed to contest against Akpabio/Jibrin ticket on Inauguration Day.

When asked about zoning, the Senate Presidential aspirant said, “Don’t make the mistake, the party has not chosen anybody, when the party chooses you will know. The party is calling for further and better consultations and we have just gotten an invitation that we are to meet tomorrow. We are meeting. 

“No it has not been zoned, there is no zoning template. You should know better, the party merely advised. Have you not  been seeing people going to visit the National chairman? What has been his position? Even when they addressed somebody as Speaker in his office,  you saw what happened, he said no, you are not Speaker. Aren’t you been following what is going on? There is no zoning yet.”

When asked on his alliance with former Governor of Zamfara State Abdulazeez Yari, with the President, the Vice President as Muslims and who be the Senate President, Izu3 said, 

“I am the next Senate President by the special grace of God. That does not mean that we are not talking to other people, we are talking to Abdulazeez Yari, we are consulting other people who are contesting the. election, but I can assure you that at the end of the day, that I Osita Izunaso will be the next Senate President by the grace of God.

“Of all the candidates, non has my legislative experience. I was Chief Press Secretary to a Senate President before I was elected into the House of Representatives. I was elected to Senate in 2007. So, I am grounded in legislative matters,  I have what it takes in terms of experience.

“We also need to rebrand the National Assembly. Since 1999, it has been having a negative image. When you talk about our lawmakers, Nigerians talk about Constituency, they see it as huge money thrown to lawmakers. That’s not true. Such money is given to the Ministries, Departments and Agencies,  MDAS. Even the jumbo salaries, the stories are not correct.

“How do we rebrand? That is why my campaign slogan is hope assured. It is one strategic arm that swears in itself. Unlike the Executive, no CJN does that. The Senate President and Speaker take oaths in the presence of the Clerk to the National Assembly. They are truly Independent. 

“We have to formulate a robust 

Legislative agenda: national unity and integration, there must be a country before politics. Secondly, it is security and where I come from people don’t come out on a Monday. Thirdly, is youth restiveness. Why are they restive? We must also look at unemployment.

Be assured that the Senate under me must collaborate with the Executive. When legislators collaborate it should not be viewed as subordinating themselves.”

In his remarks, the NUJ National President, Isiguzo who commended the aspirant for associating with his first professional calling, acknowledged his experience, integrity and integrity he has garnered over the years, however, assured Senator Izunaso that the NUJ and its are supporting his aspiration and prepared every assistance to ensure that he becomes the Senate President.

Isiguzo who described Senator Izunaso as the best among all the Senators vying for the position,  declared that after a careful analysis of all the contenders, the Imo West Senator-elect was found the best in competence,  experience, capacity and integrity. 

Emphasising integrity, the NUJ President noted that what the National Assembly required at this moment was a clean break from its odious past reputed for corruption and poor image.

According to him, Senator Izunaso is an outstanding journalist, brilliant lawyer and a man of integrity and high capacity who would rebrand the National Assembly and give the Legislature and the country a better image.

The NUJ National President who called on all the senators-elect to do the right thing and vote for Senator Izunaso as the Senate President, said that for journalists, the  Senator would fully enjoy the total support of the men of the pen while seeking the position now and when he becomes the President of the Senate.