Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-south has indicated its interest to produce the next senate president in the incoming National Assembly.
A statement issued yesterday by the National Vice Chairman of APC – (South-south), Ntufam Hilliard Etta, said zoning the coveted position of the senate president to the geo-political zone will rejuvenate the goodwill the government is currently enjoying from the people and help ensure political stability.
The South-south APC said it had considered so many factors before deciding to indicate interest for the senate presidency position, adding that such an opportunity will enable the zone to play critical and pivotal roles in helping Nigeria achieve and realise all its inherent potentials.
The statement said that in the days ahead, the party will be meeting to equitably distribute offices to all the zones of the country.
While seeking the support of President Buhari, the South-south APC said that as a major stakeholder in the project Nigeria, the zone was ready to work with him to ensure he continues to deliver democracy dividends to Nigerians.
It also drew attention to the Second Republic when a South-south man, Senator Joseph Wayas held sway as the Senate President whose tenure, it said, witnessed a harmonious working relationship between the executive, legislature and the judiciary, to the benefit of all Nigerians.
“South-South zone wishes to therefore call on Nigerians from all walks of life to support the zoning of the office of the Senate President to the South-south geopolitical zone,” he said.
While urging all Nigerians to support the aspiration of the zone to produce the next senate president, he said the move will rejuvenate the goodwill the government and the people are currently enjoying and ensure equity.
According to the South-south APC, the youths from the zone have reciprocated the good gesture of President Buhari, by embracing peace, as the panacea to the continuous development of the region in particular, and the country in general.
“Therefore, a senate president from the South- South zone will stabilise the polity, focus on its statutory role of making laws. Furthermore, a senate president from the oil-rich region will avoid unnecessary rancor with the executive as has been witnessed in the recent past. South-south zone has a major stake in the project Nigeria and thus will support Mr. President to ensure he continues to deliver democratic dividends to Nigerians,” the party
Meanwhile, the senator representing Delta Central senatorial district, Ovie Omo-Agege, has said President Buhari would be actively involved in the process of selecting the next leadership of the Senate.
Speaking yesterday to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Warri, Omo-Agege said the president and the ruling APC would avoid the 2015 mistake that led to the emergence of Senator Bukola Saraki as the president of the Senate.
‘‘Anybody who is going to be Senate President, in the 9th Senate, must be somebody who is loyal to Mr. President, the party and the Constitution.
‘‘The Senate President will be determined by Mr. President. Mr. President will indicate to us through the party who he want to work with,’’ Omo-Agege said.
Asked if APC has zoned the senate presidency to any geo-political zone, the lawmaker said ‘‘I do not know.’’
‘‘But what I can tell you is that we are going to have a Senate that will work with Mr. President.
‘‘The era of allowing renegades who rode on the back of Mr. President, who rode on the back of the party to go in there and trade the party’s mandate; I think that era is gone.
‘‘I am very hopeful that this time around, Mr. President will step in and decide not only the zone that will produce the Senate president and the leadership but also who should be.
‘‘We don’t want to erect another opposition leader in the Senate, as we had in the 8th Assembly.