The ruling All Progressives Congress on Monday officially announced the immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godwin Akpabio, as its consensus candidate for the position of Senate presidency in the 10th Assembly.
Akpabio is to be assisted by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Jibrin Barau, who would be the new Deputy Senate President.
In the Green Chamber, the seat of Speaker of the House of Representatives was zoned to popular Kaduna lawmaker, Tajudeen Abass, while the reps-elect from South East clinched the Deputy Speaker slot.
Rising from its three-and-a-half hour crucial meeting of the National Working Committee of the party, the National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, told journalists that only the zoning of two principal offices in both the Senate and House of Representatives has so far been decided.
Morka, who was flanked by the National Women Leader of the APC, Dr Betta Edu and Deputy National Women Leader, Hajia Zainab Ibrahim, at the press conference however reassured Nigerians that the leadership of the party will continue to consult with stakeholders.
According to him, the zoning and consensus candidates were done in consultation with the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, at the meeting they held on Friday.
He said, “The National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) met today to consider reports of consultations and meetings held with the President-elect, His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, other Party leaders and stakeholders on zoning arrangements for 10th National Assembly leadership positions.
“The NWC noted with respect the outcome of the meetings held between the President-Elect and the leadership of the NWC. The NWC called for further and better consultation with necessary stakeholders in order to assure the support of the aspirants to the National Assembly leadership positions and members of the Party nationwide.
“The zoning arrangement reported to the NWC is as follows: SENATE: Senate President – South-South Senator Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); Deputy Senate President – North West-Senator Barau Jubrin (Kano).
“HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Speaker. House of Representatives North West-Hon. Abass Tajudeen (Kaduna) and Deputy Speaker South East-Hon. Ben Kalu (Abia).
“We urge our party leaders, members and all Nigerians to continue to work for peace and progress of our country during and beyond the current period of leadership transition.”
When asked to explain why North Central was left of the two principal offices in both chambers, Morka declined comments and made his way out, saying “No question, please.”
The absence of North Central confirmed earlier fears of demonstrators who stormed the APC secretariat to register their displeasure about the alleged marginalisation and the position of the party on the zoning formula.