By Ebenezer Ishola
Salihu Lukman, vice-chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), north-west, says those aspiring to become senate president from his geopolitical zone should step down for a Christian from the south-south.
In a statement on Tuesday, Lukman said “unexpected people” could form the leadership of the 10th national assembly if the ruling party does not regulate the contest.
The APC vice-chairman said there is a need to douse ethnic and religious tension in the country.
“For instance, I have people from the north-west declaring to contest for the position of senate president without the courtesy of consulting any of us from the north-west in NWC,” he said.
“As much as I respect every elected national assembly member from north-west, I will appeal to those aspiring for the position of senate president to step down their aspiration in the overall interest of national cohesion and to ensure that in line with our commitment as leaders of the north-west to support the administration of Asiwaju Tinubu to assume office in May 29, 2023 with a good support base from Nigerians across every section and irrespective of ethnic and religious divide.
“So far, we only have individual aspirations for leadership positions in the 10th national assembly. Most of the aspirations hardly recognise the challenges of national cohesion.
“Unfortunately, most of those aspiring for positions of leadership in the 10th national assembly appear to be disrespectful to structures of the party and their membership, including the NWC.”
The APC is yet to come up with a zoning formula for the leadership positions in the national assembly.
Abdulaziz Yari, Jibrin Barau, David Umahi, Orji Kalu, and Ali Ndume are some of those who have expressed interest in vying for the number one seat in the senate.
Yari, a former Zamfara governor, and Barau, a Kano lawmaker, are from the north-west.
Kalu, a former governor of Abia, and Umahi, the outgoing governor of Ebonyi, are both from the south-east.
Godswill Akpabio, a former senate minority leader from Akwa Ibom (south-south), is yet to formally declare his intention to run for the position.