Governing All Progressives Congress throws weight behind the candidacies of former Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and Kaduna lawmaker, Hon. Tajudeen Abass as Presiding Officers of Tenth Senate and House of Representatives, respectively
Following weeks of speculations and consultations, the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) has announced its power-sharing arrangement and choice of candidates ahead of the inauguration of the Tenth National Assembly and election of its presiding officers.
The development came on the heels of a meeting of its National Working Committee (NWC) meeting on Monday, where the party announced the duo of Senator Godswill Akpabio (APC, Akwa Ibom) and Rep. Tajudeen Abass (APC, Kaduna) as its preference for the seat of the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives in the Tenth National Assembly.
As contained in a statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Barau Jibrin and the Spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Rep. Benjamin Kalu were adopted as its choice for the seats of the Deputy President of the Senate and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Morka further noted that the decision was reached after consultations and meetings with the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, other party leaders and stakeholders on zoning arrangements for the 10th National Assembly leadership positions.
“The National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress met today, Monday, May 8, 2023, to consider reports of consultations and meetings held with the President-elect, His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, other party leaders and stakeholders on zoning arrangements for the 10th National Assembly leadership positions.
The NWC noted with respect the outcome of the meetings held between the President-elect and the leadership of the NWC. The NWC called for further and better consultations with necessary stakeholders in order to assure the support of the aspirants to the National Assembly leadership positions and members of the party nationwide.
The zoning arrangement reported to the party is as follows:
1. Senate President – South-South – Senator Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom)
2. Deputy Senate President – North-West – Senator Barau Jibrin (Kano)
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
3. Speaker, House of Representatives – North West – Hon. Abbas Tajudeen (Kaduna)
4. Deputy Speaker – South East – Hon. Ben Kalu (Abia)
We urge our party leaders, members and all Nigerians to continue to work for peace and progress of our country during and beyond the current period of leadership transition,” the statement read.
While the announcement by the APC leadership puts to rest intense speculations about the zoning formula of the governing party ahead of the inauguration of the federal parliament in June, political watchers say the decision is not likely to go unchallenged by other Aspirants for the top legislative offices.
Barely seventy-two hours ago, two of the six other contenders for the seat; Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno North), and Senator-elect David Umahi (Ebonyi South), had withdrawn their candidacy to endorse the ambition of the former Akwa Ibom Governor, Godswill Akpabio. The quad of Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia North), Senator Osita Izunaso (APC, Imo West), Senator-Elect Abdulaziz Yari (APC, Zamfara West), and Senator Mohammed Sani Musa (APC, Niger East) are however opposed to the party’s choice and are speculated to be going ahead with lobbying and horse-trading ahead of the election in a few weeks.
For the Speakership contest, no less than eight Members of the Ninth House of Representatives are still in the race, including incumbent Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase (APC, Plateau); House Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado Doguwa (APC, Kano); Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Muktar Aliyu Betara (APC, Borno); and Sada Soli (APC, Katsina).
Others are Yusuf Gagdi (APC, Plateau); Aminu Sani Jaji (APC, Zamfara State); Miriam Onuoha (APC, Imo State); and Abdulraheem Olawuyi (APC, Kwara) who all appear to remain firm in the race.