The leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC) will decide zoning of the National Assembly positions after the governorship and House of Assembly election, it was learnt yesterday.
At a meeting with the senators-elect and House of Representatives members-elect in Abuja yesterday, they were also urged by the party leadership to work for the victory of governorship and House of Assembly candidates at the polls.
President-elect Bola Tinubu, who addressed the National Assembly members-elect at the Old Banquet Hall of the State House, said he does not have any preferred candidates for the 10th National Assembly leadership.
He was represented by the vice-president-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima.
Many newly elected APC federal legislators turned up for the meeting, where they were enjoined by the party leadership to work for the success of the platform on Saturday.
There were speculations ahead of the meeting that it was convened to discuss the distribution of leadership offices in the Senate and House of Representatives, to avert a repeat of the 2015 scenario where the party lost control of the chambers, despite having majority seats in both Houses.
However, the member-elect for Bungudu/Maru Constituency in Zamfara State, Abdulmalik Zubairu Bungudu, said the sharing of leadership positions is not Tinubu’s priority for now.
According to him, the message delivered by Shettima, on behalf of the President-elect, was aimed at spurring members-elect to focus on the governorship and state legislative elections.
He added: “For now, he said he doesn’t have anybody that he prefers to have as Senate President or Speaker, but consultations are going to continue to get the way out for the party and to also ensure the party emerges victorious in the forthcoming governorship and Houses of Assembly elections.”
APC National Chairman Senator Abdullahi Adamu said the leadership positions in the 10th National Assembly would not be determined by senatorial or tribal affiliations.
Accompanied by other members of the National Working Committee (NWC), Adamu noted that the party is not comfortable with the tone of some persons seeking the leadership positions in the National Assembly.
He said: “The news media and especially the social media are full of speculations of some of you jostling for leadership positions in the National Assembly. This is not unusual. People have the right to struggle for positions of leadership for which they believe they are eminently qualified.
“But we, in the National Working Committee of the party are not comfortable with the tone adopted by those who seek those offices. Those offices are not tribal or sectional rights and must not be so portrayed.
“We would like to offer a word of caution to all of you in this regard. It may be good to start early, but sometimes when you start too early, you jump the gun and court unintended consequences that may cause nasty divisions in the party and thus affect its health.”
Adamu said that leadership positions at the national level is a delicate matter and must not be approached with levity or lack of seriousness.
He added: “It may be good to start early but it is wiser to be patient. Some of you may recall what happened to the party and the National Assembly in 2015 when some members of the national legislature chose not to wait for the decision of the president and the party in sharing those offices.
“It created bad blood within the party and between the executive and the legislature. I urge us not to regress.”
The party chairman added that the president-elect and the party leadership will make appropriate consultations in working out a formula for sharing those offices.
“I assure you that whatever sharing formula the Party and the President-elect arrives at will be fair, just, equitable and satisfy the majority of our members,” he added.
While admitting that the February 25 elections were not perfect, Adamu said it passed the credibility test.
He said for the first time there were no allegations of vote-buying and outcry over the other ills associated with the conduct of elections.
He added: “It is fair and honourable to admit that the February 25 elections were not perfect. We did not set out to conduct perfect elections. World history has no instances of perfect elections.
“Like all other democratic nations, we set out to conduct free, fair, and credible elections. This we did.
”I am proud to say we achieved this feat and delivered on the promise made by President Muhammadu Buhari to the people. For the first time in living memory in respect of our elections, there were no allegations of vote-buying and outcry over all the other ills associated with the conduct of our elections.
“Rigging may not be dead, but it has been decapitated. Our democracy is maturing, and we are maturing with it.
Adamu maintained that from the results of the February 25, 2023 general elections announced so far by the electoral umpire, INEC, the APC won the presidency, clean and clear, and a majority in both chambers of the National Assembly.
“We chose not to rout the other political parties because they are our partners in our national progress and development. I look forward to the governorship and Houses of Assembly elections on March 18. I am sure the results will make our victory even sweeter.”