A former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bwari, has stressed the need for the All Progressives Congress to zone the position of the Senate President in the 10th National Assembly to the North Central geopolitical zone.
He said doing so would help the region address the issues of insecurity, poor infrastructure and other forms of economic sabotage in the region.
Bwari, who was also the Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, stated this when he spoke with journalists in Abuja on Wednesday.
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He noted that the North Central has abundant arable land for agricultural development and is also endowed with rich mineral resources that could serve as alternatives to oil and gas resources if effectively explored.
The erstwhile Mines and Steel Minister, however, lamented that bandits had stopped farmers from their farms, fishing ponds and took over mining sites, preventing access to investors.
He expressed the hope that there would be a positive change in the region if the APC leadership and the President-elect supported the aspiration of the North Central, to produce the next Senate President.
Bwari said, “Following the conclusion of the Presidential and National Assembly elections, two very important positions have gone to the South-West and North-East geopolitical zones.
“The president and vice president-elect have been elected from those zones.
“Other zones are now clamouring for the third most important position in the country, that is the Senate Presidency.”
He added, “If we look at performance, the North Central did very well for the All Progressives Congress in the last election. We produced very significant votes for the President-elect and the Vice President-elect.
“If you consider our strategic location and performance, if we didn’t get number one or number two positions, we should be given number three.”
Bwari added that the aspiration of the North Central is fair and just and should be considered.
He added, “Our strategic position in balancing a lot of things in the country put the North Central in the best position to produce the presiding officer of the Senate.”
Bwari while fielding comments from journalists noted that if the Senate Presidency was zoned to North Central, the issue of insecurity would be the priority of the red chamber.
He explained the committees on Defence National Security and Police Affairs in the Senate would be put on their toes to carry out necessary oversight functions to make sure that the military and the security agencies are alive to their responsibilities.
He said, “The Senate President from the North Central, would use his experiences and that of his constituents in the hands of bandits and terrorists to proffer practicable solutions to the menace.
“This is because legislative intervention will go a long way to support the military and other security agencies to go about finding pragmatic and practicable solutions to the insecurity crisis from the point of view of the direct victims.”
Bwari added, “For instance, Senator Sani Musa, who is seeking to be elected as the Senate President has gathered enough information and solutions to the menace and he would need an avenue to be able to carry them out if he is directly in charge of the Senate.
“Since he played active roles in the 9th National Assembly, he would be able to look at the issues surrounding the recruitment, rewards and punishment system in the military and other security agencies.
“He will ask the relevant committees to look into whether the required monies meant to tackle insecurity were actually released and disbursed appropriately.”