SAHARANEWS – The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday said the position of Deputy Senate President in the incoming 9th Assembly was still open.
It also said only the position of the Senate President had been decided, which according to the party, is final.
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lanre Isa-Onilu, made the assertions at a press conference in Abuja.
The party spokesman, who was apparently reacting to the perceived sidelining of some geo-political zones in the distribution of power, said the zoning formula for the remaining positions was still being worked out.
He said, “We have decided who will be the next Senate President according to what democratic principles allow and that person is Senator Ahmed Lawan.
“That has been done and announced, it is left for the party to cross the‘t’s and dot the ‘i’s to get that sorted out. The zoning arrangement for all the other positions is in the works.
“Just as the media and Nigerians have been informed about who our preferred candidate for the Senate Presidency is, we will come out to tell you what the zoning formula will be for the remaining positions in the Senate and also in the House of Representatives very shortly.”
Also SaharaNews gathered that Isa-Onilu told newsmen the APC had decided to go beyond zoning to identify candidates who were fit for the positions.
In reaching the decision, the party spokesman said there was nationwide consultation among party leaders.
SaharaNews recalls that former Governor of Abia and Senator-elect, Abia North Senatorial district, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu had threatened to contest the Senate President position on the floor of the house if the APC sidelines his zone, South-East in the distribution of power.
Kalu, who indicated interest in the Deputy Senate President seat, asked the party to zone the position to the South-East in the interest of equity and justice.
Speaking with newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos, Kalu, SaharaNews learnt, said he was aware that the APC, which had the majority in the Senate, had zoned the Senate President position to the North-East and the Deputy Senate President to the North-West.
He said, “I am a very loyal party man. The party has zoned the Senate presidency position to the North-East and I want to respect the party’s will. But the second position is what we are not going to allow to leave the South-East.
“So, as far as I am concerned, in the South-East, I am going to run openly on the floor of the house for the position of the Deputy Senate President.
“I am not going to listen to the party neither will I listen to anybody. Nobody that wants to be the Deputy Senate President is more loyal than I am to the party.”
Reacting to the position of Dr Kalu on the zoning arrangement, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Sabi Abdullahi said no APC senator-elect would go against the party on that day.
“I don’t have the idea on what the party is doing on the position of the Deputy Senate Presidency. The party will ensure that a senator from each of the geopolitical zones benefit from the leadership positions, that is, two presiding officers and the four principal officers,” he added.