The All Progressives Congress (APC), National Vice Chairman for North-west, Comrade Salihu Lukman has called on the leadership of the party to zone the position of Senate president to the South-south.
Lukman in a statement issued Tuesday said the Senator Abdullahi Adamu-led National Working Committee (NWC) needs to become more aggressive in driving the process of negotiating leadership of the 10th National Assembly
He warned that an unregulated contest for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly could produce another Muslim as Senate President.
The party Chieftain noted that the laid-back attitude of the NWC has produced embarrassing situations of public disagreement with the National Chairman over the issue of a consensus Presidential candidate before the party’s Presidential Primary in June 2022.
Lukman stressed that the configuration of the leadership that would be assuming office on May 29, 2023, was about the same as that of 1999.
He recalled that in 1999, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar respectively were from South-West and North-East.
The APC National Vice Chairman said, taking a cue from that, the Senate President was from the South-East and Deputy Senate President from North-Central, while the National Chairman of the ruling party was from North-Central.
He further recalled that in the House of Representatives, the Speaker was from North-West and Deputy Speaker was from South-South, while other positions in the leadership of the National Assembly were distributed accordingly to other zones.
Lukman said, given the challenge of neutralising religious tension in the country, this would appear to be advantageous.
He stressed: “For instance, if the Senate President is to come from the South-East, he would certainly be a Christian. The only problem is the experience of 1999 – 2003, which highlighted problems of instability with the South-East holding the position of Senate President. Also, as at 1999, the South-East strongly voted for the PDP to emerge as the ruling party. The same could not be said today.
“Perhaps, to avoid that, and to compensate the South-South, which gave more votes to the APC, including winning the Governorship election in Cross River and majority members of the Edo State House of Assembly, consideration can be given for the South-South to produce the Senate President.”
Lukman noted that as a ruling party mandated to provide political leadership to the country for the next four years, everything must be done to sustain the confidence of Nigerians.