The ruling party in Nigeria obviously has a serious task to carry out as far as the coming election of the principal officers of the National Assembly is concerned.
Indications suggest that different lawmakers from various geo-political zones in the country are interested in top leadership positions of the National Assembly and they would want the party to zone the posts to them.
However, Saturday PUNCH learnt that the APC would take into cognisance the performance of each of the six geo-political zones in terms of votes in deciding a zoning formula for the distribution of principal positions in the 9th National Assembly.
Party leaders, it was learnt, were set to remind President Muhammadu Buhari of his promise to reward those who worked for the party’s victory.
The Punch reports that a highly-placed member of the party leadership, who spoke to Saturday PUNCH in confidence, said, “As a party, we have learnt lessons from the mistakes of 2015 when we were forced to swallow the bitter pill by (Bukola) Saraki and (Yakubu) Dogara whose emergence altered our calculations.
“Now, Mr President has realised that he can no longer sit on the fence. We will definitely tinker with the zoning arrangement because of the realities of today and the kind of future we want for our country.
“The President is from the North-West, the Vice President is from the South-West, although against our wish, the North-Central and the North-East occupy the positions of Senate President and Speaker respectively- that was before they left our party. The powerful office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation is also in the North-East.” He said, however, that whatever new arrangement would be made with respect to positions in the National Assembly, the contributions of the North-East and the South-West would not be overlooked.
“The North-East delivered almost 100 per cent, you cannot ignore that; the North-Central tried but there is a ‘but’ so also it is with the South-West.
“Now, there is also the issue of constitutional balancing based on which you have to accommodate other regions where we did not do so well because we will want to still have a party to contest elections in 2023. All these have to be considered,” he added.
Reacting to the looming leadership crisis in the 9th N’Assembly, the presidency said on Friday that President Muhammadu Buhari would not interfere with the emergence of the new leadership of the 9th National Assembly, The Punch reports.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate) Ita Enang, disclosed this while addressing reporters in Abuja. He said the President believed in the rule of law; hence he would allow each arm of government to perform its constitutional responsibility without interference.
Some Senators-elect on the platform of the APC had told journalists on Thursday that the Presidency and the leadership of the party should, by next week, give direction on the leadership to avoid another leadership crisis in the nation’s legislature.
The incoming lawmakers cautioned President Buhari and the APC leadership against working at cross-purposes to avoid another tussle that would alter the party’s zoning formula.
But Enang said the President would remain neutral and allow the elected lawmakers to carry out their constitutional responsibilities. He said, “The principle of President Muhammadu Buhari is that each arm of government should function according to what the constitution says which is that every person in government should do the right thing.
“He (Buhari) will not go beyond what the constitution allows him and every arm of government should stick to its constitutional responsibilities.”
What are your thoughts on this story?