…Urges them to respect Party’s decision on zoning of NASS presiding offices
By Henry Umoru
AHEAD of the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly, the Senate Presidency ambition of former Senate Minority leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio may have got a boost as the immediate past President, Muhammadu Buhari has asked the former Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari to respect the decision of the party on the zoning of Presiding offices in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The aspiration of Senator Abdul’aziz Yari to emerge the President of the 10th Senate may have suffered a major setback on Sunday as Buhari has outrightly rejected his bid for the number three position in the country.
Recall that the All Progressives Congress, 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 Jubrin 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.
This 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.
It was highly criticized why party would allot two of the six presiding offices in the National Assembly to a zone and leaving the North Central without any position, even as many others criticized the zoning of Deputy Speaker to the South-East instead of Presidency of the Senate generally believed to be due to the zone.
It was gathered yesterday that former President Buhari may have rejected Yari when he visited Buhari to seek his endorsement, just as a source said that Buhari was so angry about the decision of Yari to go ahead with his aspiration forgetting the fragile nature of the country since the emergence of the President and Vice President with Muslim background.
The source said, “They came to Daura believing that they could use their money to buy the conscience of the former First family just as they believe that money would get them the position.
“They were all told to go back and respect the position of the President and the party leadership on their choices for the leadership of the National Assembly.”
According to the source, Buhari reminded Yari that he did not meddle in the affairs of the National Assembly throughout his eight years in office and that it would not be now that he is out of office that he would attempt to undermine the independence of the legislature to choose its leaders.
It was also gathered that efforts to drag the former First Lady Aisha Buhari into the matter did not yield any positive result as she was said to have rebuffed the attempt.
She was said to have cited the unity of the country as being paramount to the family of the former president than any personal ambition.
Only five Senators-elect were said to have accompanied Yari to the Daura home of the former President.
It was gathered at the time of writing this report, the camp of Senators Godswill Akpabio and Jibrin Jibrin has swelled with 5 new converts thus increasing the number of Senators-Elect who have so far endorsed the ticket.
Speaking on the development, the Deputy Director- General of Akpabio/ Barau Campaign Organisation, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, APC, Ekiti Central said: “Despite the number we are still forging ahead with our consultations and appeals to those who are yet to join the Stability Group.”