Group lobbies for South-South geopolitical zone to produce next Senate President
Executives of the CSO during news conference
By Naomi Sharang
Citizens Network For Peace and Development in Nigeria (CNPDN), a civil society group, has called on the All Progressives Congress (APC), to zone Senate Presidency to the South-South geo-political zone.
Making the call in Abuja on Tuesday, its National Secretary, Mr Francis Wainwei, told a news conference that the zone was better positioned to produce the next Senate President.
He said it was important and fair for the National Working Committee (NWC) and various organs of APC to consider the region for the post.
According to him, aside the fact that the zone has a ranking senator in the person of Sen. Godswill Akpabio, it has not produced a Senate president since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999.
Wainwei also said that zoning the president of the senate of the 10th Assembly to the region would foster true sense of belonging.
“Considering the South-South zone will make for peaceful and smooth take-off of the new dispensation under the president-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu.
“The call is also strengthened by the fact that the APC got more than 25 per cent votes in each of the six South-South states.
“This feat was achieved in spite of the fact that the region has been known as the stronghold of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before now,’’ he said.
Wainwei added that the South-South contributed greatly in ensuring that the APC won the 2023 presidential election.
On Apkapbio’s credentials, he said: “Godswill Akpabio is the right senator-elect.
“He has the competence, national acceptability and political experience to effectively pilot the affairs of the senate.
“As a former governor and minority leader in the Senate, representing the PDP, becoming President of the Senate as an APC member makes Akpabio a formidable bridge between the Executive and the Legislature.
“We call on all patriotic senators-elect to support and vote massively for Akpabio.
“We also call on all patriotic Nigerians who want the `Nigeria of our Dreams’ to prevail on the APC to zone the position of Senate President to the South-South geopolitical zone,’’ Wainwei stressed.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that based on Senate Standing Rules, only ranking senators are eligible to contest for the position of President and Deputy President of the Senate.
Wainwei said also that the in-coming government should distribute available political positions equitably among the six geopolitical zones to enhance national unity.
“As patriotic citizens, our primary interest is the unity and prosperity of the nation; hence, this is a clarion call to the ruling party to do the needful.
“The party and incoming government should promote government of national inclusion, equity and fairness to all geopolitical zones,’’ Wainwei