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10th NASS: Akpabio warns against speculation on zoning of Senate Principal Officers

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Senator Godswill Akpabio who was reportedly adopted as the incoming President of the Senate for the 10th Assembly, on Monday, urged Nigerians to be wary of speculations on the zoning of the Principal Officers.

Senator Akpabio gave the charge during a media chat at the sideline of the induction of the 10th Assembly Senators-elect and Members-elect holding at Abuja Intercontinental Hotel, Abuja.

He said: “We are all waiting for the decision of the National Working Committee of our great party which we believe will be out very soon. When that comes out, we will know what position is going to which zone.

“It is not something that we should begin to speculate. But I believe that justice will be done in terms of balancing the political equations in the country to ensure a very peaceful tenure for the incoming President.

“It is a normal thing for people to move one direction or the other. I am not worried about anything because I believe that the will of God will be done.

“In terms of being the Senate President, it is in the hands of my colleagues, the Senators-elect. They will take the decision and the will of God will be done.

“The lawmakers are the ones choosing the Senate President. But I believe that there should be cooperation between the lawmakers and the party.

“Once the leadership is put in place, there should be cooperation between the leadership and the administration,” he noted.

Also speaking with Parliamentary Correspondents, Hon. Benjamin Kalu who was reportedly adopted as the Deputy Speaker by the APC leadership, said: “in a democratic clime like ours, the ruling party play a key role in setting up the structure of government.

“For some of us who believe in the supremacy of the party, we will always tag along the position of the party.

“My ambition was to be the Speaker of the House of Representatives. It is the party that gave me the platform to come to the House of Representatives.

Also speaking with Parliamentary Correspondents, Hon. Mariam Onuoha who also expressed interest in vying for the office of the Speaker, urged that she should be given the right of first refusal as the only Female Members-elect to be considered as Deputy Speaker.

She said: “We have heard that the position of the Deputy Speaker is being zoned to the South East. If that is so, being the only woman contesting the position of Speaker, it is only ideal that I be considered and given the right of first refusal especially now that the position is zoned to my geopolitical zone.

“Denying me this position amount to discrimination and denying me my right.”

On her part, Hon. Adewunmi Onanuga dismissed information on the purported adoption of Hon. Benjamin Kalu as Deputy Speaker.

She said: “We have heard that the Speakership has been zoned to the North West and no name has been mentioned to us. The Deputy Speakership position has not been zoned or micro zoned.

“So, I don’t know where you are getting your information from. But then, you are the media and you have sources everywhere. But members elect are not aware as we speak.

“I think it is very proper for somebody from the south west to be deputy speaker and I will give you my reasons. We understand that the Senate Presidency has been zoned to the stouth South and the Speakership to the North West. That leaves the South West and the South East.

“The argument of the South West is the performance of the south, when juxtaposed against that of the South East, it brings the South West on top.

“We are saying that if that is the situation and in the Senate, we don’t have a female returning senator and so, the Senate President will definitely be a man.

“The North West have Aspirants for the Speakership position who are all male. So, we are asking that the Deputy Speakership be zoned to the south west and a female should be considered. We have two female members contesting for the Deputy Speakership position.

“The truth is that every returning member and elect has a right to contest and I believe that there will still be consultations across board abd the party will still call all members and explain why they zoned what position to what areas. So, I believe that all disagreements will be sorted out when the party meet with members,” she said.


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