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HomePoliticsZoning Formula Threatened as Senators-Elect Withdraw Support for APC-Backed Senate President Candidate

Zoning Formula Threatened as Senators-Elect Withdraw Support for APC-Backed Senate President Candidate

Ahead of the highly anticipated inauguration of the 10th National Assembly on June 13, concerns have arisen within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) regarding the zoning formula for the office of the Senate President. It is reported that some senators-elect may have withdrawn their support for the APC-endorsed candidate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, causing a potential challenge to the party’s plans.

The development came to light as Sumaila Kawu, a senator-elect from Kano State, cautioned President Bola Tinubu against interfering in the election of presiding officers for both chambers of the 10th National Assembly.

Indications suggest that senators-elect who previously expressed support for Akpabio are now reconsidering their stance due to concerns surrounding his past relationship with the National Assembly when he served as the Minister of the Niger Delta. Three years ago, during a public hearing of an investigative panel at the House of Representatives, Akpabio allegedly implicated lawmakers as major beneficiaries of contracts within the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Some senators-elect have voiced their reservations about Akpabio’s bid, citing accusations that he displayed disrespect towards the legislature by openly accusing National Assembly members of benefiting from lucrative contracts in the NDDC without providing concrete evidence. This revelation has now come back to haunt him.

Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central), the Deputy Director-General of the Akpabio/Barau Campaign Organisation, made an appeal on Monday for senators-elect to support Akpabio’s candidacy.

However, a senator-elect, who preferred to remain anonymous, confirmed the withdrawal of support for Akpabio, questioning how he could preside over an institution he once disparaged. The senator-elect emphasized that many others have also withdrawn their support, and this shift in sentiment is likely to be evident on the floor.

Additionally, Sumaila Kawu stressed the importance of adhering to constitutional provisions for the election of the Senate President and Deputy President. He referred to the relevant sections of the 9th Standing Orders of the Senate and the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, which clearly outline the procedures for selecting the presiding officers. Kawu highlighted that this election is an internal affair that solely concerns the members of the National Assembly, urging that they be allowed to decide who should occupy these positions to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.

As the countdown to the inauguration continues, the withdrawal of support for Akpabio and the growing concerns surrounding the APC’s zoning formula have added an air of uncertainty to the upcoming election of the Senate President in the 10th National Assembly.



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