Following what could be described as a random lobbying of lawmakers to rally support ahead of their inauguration, a group under the aegis of The Natives on Wednesday called on aspirants vying for Senate presidency and speakership in the 10th National Assembly to allow the ruling party to decide the zoning for various offices.
The National Vice Chairman of the APC (North-West), Malam Salihu Lukman, had on Monday called on northern senators contesting the post to step down for fairness and equity sake.
Party chieftains in the South-South and South-East had called for the zoning of the senate presidency to their regions in order to have a sense of belonging in view of the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket adopted by the party.
No fewer than eight senators had indicated an interest in the race. They include senators Jibrin Barau (Kano Central), Sani Musa (Niger East), Orji Kalu (Abia North), and GodsWill Akpabio (Akwa-Ibom North-West ).
Others are Senators Osita Izunaso (Imo West), Peter Ndubueze (Imo North), Abdul’Aziz Yari (Zamfara West), and Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North), amongst others.
Addressing newsmen during their peaceful rally in Abuja on Wednesday, Convener of The Natives, Smart Edward, stated that the tradition of legislative competence, hard work, and contributions to victory must be given value.
Edward stated that the only way the process could be achieved seamlessly without causing a rift was to allow the APC leadership to decide on the region to zone the principal offices.
He said, “The Natives comprise all tribes, all tongues, all beliefs, and all religions in Nigeria. The party that has won the election has produced a Muslim-Muslim ticket on the bases of competence. This tradition must be sustained. The tradition of competence, legislative competence, hard work, and contributions to victory must be given value.
“We believe that Christians are part of Nigeria, Muslims are part of Nigeria but we will not promote disunity because we are one tribe, one nation under God. So we believe that the zoning belongs to the party, they can choose whosoever they want.
“But as The Natives, we advance that the constitution recognizes a balance, and in that balance, Christians can be found and are also worthy to be Senate President to influence their own country. The parliament has many offices, from Senate President to Speaker, Deputy Senate President, Deputy Speaker, and other principal offices, let there be fairness.”