The Abbas/Kalu Campaign secretariat has said President Bola Tinubu, at his meeting with members-elect of the Senate, was firm on the zoning plan of the All Progressives Congress for the coming 10th National Assembly.
Tinubu met with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and 10th Senate members-elect elect, including aspirants for President of the Senate who are aggrieved with the APC plan on Wednesday.
According to the campaign in a statement issued on Thursday, the President does not have plans to dump the candidates adopted by the APC for 10th Assembly leadership.
The statement was titled, ‘10th Assembly: Tinubu Remains Firm on APC’s Endorsed Candidates…Appeals to Governors, Lawmakers-elect to Work for Party’s Candidates…as Wase, Jaji Boycott Meeting with President.’
The National Working Committee of the APC had on May 8, 2023, released the zoning formula for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly, picking Godswill Akpabio (Akwa-Ibom/South-South) President of the Senate; Jibrin Barau (Kano/North-West) for Deputy President of the Senate; Tajudeen Abbas (Kaduna/North-West) for Speaker; and Benjamin Kalu (Abia/South-East) for Deputy Speaker.
Several aspirants for leadership positions in the Senate and the House have, however, kicked against the APC leadership zoning plan, vowing to go ahead and contest against the party’s chosen candidates.
In the House is the G-7 which includes the incumbent Deputy Speaker Ahmed Wase; Chairman of the House Committee on Navy, Yusuf Gagdi; Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations, Aliyu Betara; Chairman, House Committee on Water Resources, Sada Soli; Chinedu Ogah, Miriam Onuoha and Sani Jaji.
In the Senate, the aggrieved aspirants for President of the Senate include the current Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu, from Abia State; former Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari; Senator Sani Musa from Niger State; and Senator Osita Izunaso from Imo State.
The APC candidates and their aggrieved opponents are banking on the votes of the newly-elected members who are far more than the returning members and members-elect in the opposition parties who collectively have more numbers than the ruling party.
However, the Abbas/Kalu campaign claimed that most of the G-7 members have stepped down after Tinubu intervened in the matter.
The statement read, “On Wednesday night, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu met with senators-elect and members-elect of the APC at the Presidential Villa. APC governors and other leaders of the party were in attendance.
“Tinubu spoke firmly on the need to work for the victory of the APC’s candidates for the 10th NASS leadership. He appealed/begged them to work for Akpabio, Abbas, Barau and Kalu. He said the success of his administration largely depends on whether or not he gets it right with the leadership of the National Assembly. He urged them to see reason with him. He said the candidates were chosen for the stability of the nation.”
It further read, “Aspirants for Speaker such as Muktar Betara, Gagdi, Miriam, Sada Soli were present. But Ahmed Idris Wase and Aminu Sani Jaji were conspicuously absent, although they got an invitation for the meeting.
“Wase had said during the House valedictory session on Wednesday that he would go ahead to contest for the Speaker’s seat because it has been prophesised that he would become Speaker. There is likelihood that only Wase would go to the floor to contest, while others may step down after the President’s appeal.”