Northern senators, especially those elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, have threatened to revolt against the party if the controversial zoning template for leadership of the 10th National Assembly was not revisited.
Specifically, former Governor of Zamfara State and Senator-elect, Abdulaziz Yari, said the entire North would revolt over the issue.
He spoke when some Senate presidency aspirants visited the National Working Committee, NWC, of the APC, yesterday, in Abuja. adopted Senators Godswil Akpabio and Jibrin Barau.
It also zoned the Speakership and Deputy Speakership to North-West and South-East and chose Tajudeen Abass and Ben Kalu for the slots. The party said those selected were also the choices of President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Meanwhile, the 18 senators-elect from the North-Central geo-political zone have kicked against the template and pointedly criticized the exclusion of the zone from the arrangement.
Also, seven speakership aspirants drawn from the North-West, North-East, North-Central and South-East kicked against the zoning formula and sought redress.
We’ll ensure justice —Adamu
Disturbed by the threats of Senators-elect and members-elect to revolt against its zoning template at the June 13 inauguration of the National Assembly, the Senator Abdullahi Adamu-led NWC of the ruling APC, yesterday, embarked on an emergency trouble-shooting parley with aggrieved Senate presidency contenders.
The contestants at the meeting with the NWC were Senators Orji Kalu and Sani Musa as well as Senator-elect, Abdulaziz Yari. The fourth aggrieved aspirant, Senator Osita Izunaso, was said to be away to his home state, Imo, where Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was visiting to flag off the hydrographic survey/dredging of the sea route from Oguta Lake to the Atlantic Ocean.
At the meeting, which was at Adamu’s behest, the national chairman, who sounded conciliatory, urged the contestants to hold their fire, saying the party is waiting for the return of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in order to have further consultations on the matter.
The quartet of Kalu, Musa, Yari and Izunaso, who submitted a letter of protest to the NWC had threatened to disregard the party’s zoning formula and engage in intense multi-partisan campaigns to realise their ambitions.
Yari, who was the first to speak among the contestants, said if the current zoning formula is not changed, the North will revolt.
He said: “We are here to present our letter of grievances to you and also tell this house as leaders that we are not satisfied with the arrangement. What we are expecting from you is to give us fair play.
“We have been in this game and we understand it very well and it is about dialogue. We are saying that yes, the party is supreme, and we are looking at the election we won in 2023 and the next election is 2027 and it depends on how we play our part.
“The president-elect got 63.4 percent of votes from the North. Where he comes from, the South, he got 36.6 percent. So, if there is anyone who can say we own APC and the president-elect, it is Northern Nigeria, without undermining any part of the country. They have given their best and we can understand their situation but justice needs to be done. We should not be blinded that the power of anyone is not absolute but only God is absolute. We should not look at these four years as 20 years. We are going back to next election. We should underline that.