Developing: Akpabio, Barau Favoured To Emerge Senate President, Deputy

The All Progressives Congress (APC) may zone the positions of President of the Senate and the deputy to the South-South and North-West geo-political zones respectively.

Though the party is yet to come up with an official position on the zoning of 10th National Assembly leadership slots, multiple sources including an Aso Rock source, revealed that the South-South zone may get the Senate President’s position.

The APC has so far won 57 seats; while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has 27 seats.

Others are Labour Party (LP) six seats; New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) two seats; and Social Democratic Party (SDP) two seats. The Young Progressives Party (YPP) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), have one seat each.

So far, those who have thrown their hats in the ring for the 10th Senate presidency include, serving Senate President, Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe North); Senator Sani Musa (APC, Niger East); Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (APC, Abia North); Senator Jibrin Barau (APC Kano North); Senator Godswill Akpabio (APC, Akwa Ibom North-West); Deputy Senate leader, Senator Abdul Ningi (APC, Bauchi Central); and Senator Abdul- Aziz Yari (APC, Zamfara);

Others are Governor David Umahi (APC, Ebonyi South) and Adams Oshiomhole (APC, Edo North).

Also, Senator Ali Ndume from Borno and Senator Osita Izunaso from Imo State have both declared their intentions to irun for the office.

Multiple sources told Vanguard that the party is still making consultations across the board before settling for competent and trusted persons that will run the affairs of the National Assembly and share in the vision of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu.

Akpabio, Jubril tipped

It was further gathered that top party leaders are rooting for Senators Godswill Akpabio and Barau Jubrin from Akwa Ibom and Kano states for the positions of Senate President and Deputy Senate President respectively.

The source, who spoke under anonymity, said: “We are not even bothered much about where the speaker would go because the bigger issue has to be sorted out before any other one; and the bigger issue is that of the Senate President.

“Once that is sorted out, others will automatically sort out naturally. Among the contenders we have seen very competent hands and trust worthy persons who share in the vision of the incoming administration.

“Apart from that, we are also looking at state performances as well as party loyalty. Quite honestly, we have been on this matter for weeks and we have been making informal consultations across the board, including those outside our party.

“Tentatively, we are likely to present the zoning suggestions in respect of the Senate alone, to the president-elect and we will discuss others subsequently.

“If not for some obvious reasons of balancing, North-West, particularly, Senator Barau Jubrin would have been a perfect fit. But we have to bend backwards and appeal to him and the zone to allow the South-South to take the shot while we beef up the seat with his (Jubrin) adoption as deputy senate president.

“And it is not a question of guessing who could be. We all know Senator Godswill Akpabio is the only ranking senator that could be considered.”

Another source, revealed that the choice of who emerges either the Senate President or Speaker of the House of Representatives will be subject to approval by the President-elect, Tinubu.

The source said: “In all we are conceiving, we are still at the realm of suggestions on how to navigate around the issue of leadership in the next National Assembly. Everything will still have to be subject to the thoughts, approval and implementation of the incoming president who is expected back before next week.”

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