Northern Group Reacts to Akpabio’s Endorsement, Rejects Zoning of Senate Presidency to the South

The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has accused the South of unfair practices in the ongoing tussle for the Senate Presidency.

POLITICS NIGERIA reports that the group has demanded that the Senate Presidency be zoned to the North, specifically the North-West region.

The spokesperson for the group, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, argued that the North-West should be considered for the position of the Senate President given that the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, secured his highest votes from the zone.

Suleiman maintained that Tinubu’s choice of the former minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, as the Senate President of the 10th Senate was unfair to the North.

Suleiman emphasised that the North-West played a critical role in the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the February 25 presidential election. He argued that since Tinubu is from the South, it would be unfair to zone the Senate seat to the same region. Speaking during an interview with The PUNCH, Suleiman demanded that the North be given a fair chance at the Senate Presidency.

He said: “Ideally and for the sake of fairness and balance, the South as a whole should not expect the senate presidential slot with the President-elect coming from there.

“I think we should reasonably be looking at functions here. The functions of the vice-president are just nominal, which means the North might not be seen to hold a functional position just because it has the vice-president. The next functional office after that of the president is therefore the Senate Presidency.

“In this case, since the South has the highest functional office, the next, which is the senate presidency, should legitimately remain in the North, assuming that means anything. It will then be for the North to sub-zone the position to either the North-West or the North Central.”

“The North-West, without a doubt, was where the President-elect got the bulk of his winning votes over and above even his own region, the South-West,” Suleiman added.

Sources revealed that the controversy surrounding the Senate Presidency arose when Tinubu allegedly endorsed Akpabio against the desire of the current Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.

The meeting between Tinubu and some party leaders, held at his residence in Abuja, reportedly ended with Lawan’s failed attempt to stop Akpabio’s Senate Presidency ambition. Tinubu reportedly insisted on supporting Akpabio as the Senate President of the 10th Senate.

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