Home » 10th NASS leadership: Akpabio, Kalu’s chances high as Tinubu, governors dump consensus for zoning

10th NASS leadership: Akpabio, Kalu’s chances high as Tinubu, governors dump consensus for zoning


Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the president-elect, has urged the All Progressives Congress (APC) governors to work with the party to avoid precipitating a leadership crisis in the National Assembly, The Punch reports.

Telescope.ng gathered that Tinubu asked the governors – Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Hope Uzodimma (Imo) and others to work with the party leadership and lawmakers on the election of principal officers of the National Assembly.

Tinubu spoke on Thursday, March 27, during a meeting with the Progressives Governors Forum members who visited him at the Defence House in Abuja, according to a statement by his media aide, Tunde Rahman.

It was learnt that the president-elect agreed with the suggestion of the governors that consensus candidates should not be picked, rather the positions should be zoned.

It was gathered that the meeting was part of Tinubu’s consultations with the APC stakeholders for the planned zoning of the positions.

He had earlier met with the party’s National Working Committee members and some aspirants.

The governors were led to the meeting by the chairman of the PGF who also doubles as the governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu.

Those in attendance included the vice president-elect, Kashim Shettima; Governors Simon Lalong (Plateau), Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna), Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina), Hope Uzodinnma (Imo), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Babajide Sanwo-olu (Lagos), Ben Ayade (CrossRivers), Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq (Kwara), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) and Biodun Oyebanji (Ekiti).

Others were the deputy governor of Ebonyi state, Kelechi Igwe and the APC governorship candidate in Kano State, Alhaji Nasiru Gawuna.

It would be recalled that the contest for the president of the Senate and the Speaker of the 10 National Assembly has become stiff with no fewer than 10 APC senators angling to emerge as the senate president while about 12 members-elect are contending for the speakership.

The development has put the party in a quandary with different interests demanding that the National Assembly leadership positions should be zoned to their geo-political regions.

While addressing the governors, Tinubu said: “We thank God Almighty for our electoral victory. It was tough and turbulent. The challenge before us is working in unison with the party leadership and the National Assembly over the election of their principal officers. And I charge you to unite in spirit and faith and work in line with the party.”

Tinubu gave a glimmer of hope to some notable governors and former governorship candidates who lost in their states at the 2023 polls.

He was referring to the Plateau state governor who was the director-general of the APC presidential campaign council and his Ebonyi state colleague who both lost their senatorial bids.

Others who lost the elections included the Zamfara state Governor, Bello Matawalle who lost his re-election; Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River, Nasarawa state Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura and Senator Aishatu Dahiru aka Binani who lost the governorship poll in Adamawa State.

The President-elect told the governors and former governorship candidates of the party that “whether you return or not, this is our government. Once we know what we are doing and communicating as elected leaders and loyal party men, we will conquer the challenge.”

He reiterated his earlier admonitions that, as leaders, they were elected to serve the people and humanity with fairness and justice.

In an emotion-laden voice, Tinubu expressed gratitude to God that he, being “the first Muslim minority from the southwest got the blessing of Allah to be elected president.”

He further dismissed speculations about his health, saying “All speculations have perished and their purveyors brought to shame.”

Earlier, Bagudu said the visit was to congratulate Tinubu on his election victory and welcome him back from his recent trip to France.

He also announced that the governors were ready for any assignment the president-elect may give them.

While referring to the election of presiding officers of the National Assembly, the Kebbi State governor pledged that they would continue to discuss and work with the party and the lawmakers to arrive at the best decision in the interest of the country.

 According to the newspaper, Tinubu and the governors were unanimous in their decision that the party should not settle for consensus candidates for the NASS leadership positions.

It was learnt that the participants resolved to allow the lawmakers to choose their leaders.

The source stated that the party agreed that just as the president-elect emerged through a democratic process, the leadership of the National Assembly should follow the same route.

The source said, “At the meeting, the party as always was very careful of the religion and ethnic balance to avoid fresh battles.

“The governors advised the president-elect to allow the leadership of the National Assembly to follow normal protocol without anointing any candidate.

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