Sunday Aborisade in Abuja
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Barau Jibrin, has declared his ambition to contest the position of the Senate President in the 10th National Assembly.
The Senator, who is representing Kano Central Senatorial District, told journalists yesterday, that he was the most ranking and experienced among those contesting the position with him.
He promised to officially begin his campaign in the coming weeks.
He said, “I intend to seek to be the President of the 10th Senate. In the next few days, I will start my campaign and make a formal declaration.:
The Kano Senator noted that the position of the Senate president was that of experience and competence, not sentiments.
He said, “Legislature is a distinct arm of government that doesn’t work based on sentiments, it works on your ability to get the job done. It is the tradition all over the world and it is also stated there in our rule book and the rules are drafted from our constitutions.”
Jibrin has been in the National Assembly since 1999 and in the Senate since 2015.
He explained that the Senate rule gives credence to seniority and experience above sentiments.
He said, “It is stated there in our standing rules that aspirations of elections for the seat of the Senate Presidency shall be in accordance with ranking.
“Among those who are running for the seat of the Senate Presidency, I am the most ranked senator.
“So, it’s constitutional and among those who are showing their intentions to run for the Senate Presidency, I am the most experienced.
“The issue is that of competence. You need to be grounded, in the residue of the legislature before you become the Senate Presidency. Do you now play against competence based on sentiment.
“Remember that David Mark was a Christian, his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu was a Christian and the Speaker Patricia Etteh was a Christian because they were the most experienced and ranking and that is the tradition. So do we now relegate competence for other sentiments?
“The National Assembly has the latitude to regulate its own procedures as a distinct arm of government. That’s why we have our standing rules.”
Speaking further, he said: “It is clear in the Senate Standing Rule that aspiration or election for the Office of the Senate President shall be in accordance with ranking and most experienced.
“Among those who are seeking to occupy that office, I have the highest ranking and most experienced.
“The issue is that of competence. You need to be grounded in procedures of legislation and other activities of the parliament before becoming the Senate President.
“As we speak, I’m number one among those who are aspiring to become Senate President in terms of experience.
“There was a time we had a Christian Senate President, David Mark, and the deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, a Christian and the Speaker of House of Representatives, Patricia Etteh, a Christian.
“There were the most experienced and ranking at that time. Competence was not relegated for sentiment then.
“Bringing religious sentiment won’t fly. It’s about competence not sentiment. When we talk about experienced, I’m the most experienced.”
The Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Kalu had on Tuesday, requested the All Progressive Congress to zone the Senate Presidency to his village, Igbere in the Abia North Senatorial District of Abia State.