Senate Presidency: Ranking Lawmakers, APC NWC Back Orji Uzor-Kalu
- Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor-Kalu, is likely to be the next Senate president of Nigeria
- Uzor-Kalu, a former governor of Abia state, is said to have the backing of the powers that be in the ruling APC
- He will, however, face stiff opposition from some APC senators who are also eyeing the plum position
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FCT, Abuja - A report by Vanguard indicates that ranking lawmakers and All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC) members are backing the Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor-Kalu as the next Senate president.
According to the report, the lawmakers are already planning a meeting with the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
The agenda of the meeting is the constitution of the leadership of the national parliament.
A source quoted in the report said that the upcoming meeting with Tinubu will take a firm stand on some concerns already raised by lawmakers regarding the factors to be considered before allocating the offices.
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The source who craved anonymity said the factors included balancing power and avoiding a Muslim-Muslim National Assembly leadership.
Tinubu and the vice president-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima, are Muslims from the southwest and northeast regions, respectively which may not be expressly endorsed for any other juicy office in the National Assembly.
The source added that most of the party’s NWC members were working on agreeing with other party leadership members to zone the Senate presidency to the southeast as part of moves to appease the region’s people.
The source said:
“There is tension already, and the party is determined to reduce it by doing its best to zone its offices beginning with the Senate presidency to the southeast; arrangements have been concluded to meet with our president-elect Bola Tinubu on this matter.
“Since 2015, the distribution of leadership positions by the APC has not been balanced, and we are committed to correcting it with the 10th Assembly. So far, we are in the majority with 57 senatorial seats.
“During our party primaries, the southeast didn’t get the party's support to produce the flag bearer. This didn’t go down well with them. This is another opportunity to prove to Nigerians that we are a party for all.”
Senator Uzor-Kalu is highly considered for the plum job, while Niger-east senator, Sani Musa, is being positioned for the deputy Senate president.
Zone Senate presidency to southeast, group tells APC
In a related development, a support group of the APC, Youths Sentinel, has advised the party's national leadership to zone the office of the Senate president for the incoming 10th National Assembly to the southeast.
The group said the move would ensure justice to the political agreement between the north and the south and enhance and strengthen national integration.
Coordinator of the group, Brown Agunanne, in a statement sent to Legit.ng, stated that the office should naturally be zoned to the southeast since the outgoing occupant of the office hails from the northeast.
Labour Party candidate Onyewuchi wins Imo East senatorial election
Legit.ng had earlier reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi the Imo East senatorial election winner after the National Assembly elections.
Onyewuchi of the Labour Party polled 100,631 votes to defeat Chief Uche Onyeagucha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who got 87,229 votes.
Onyewuchi, a serving senator, had lost the PDP ticket to Onyeagucha during the primaries before he headed for the Labour Party.
Abaribe defeats Governor Ikpeazu to retain Abia South senatorial seat
Similarly, Abia state governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, lost the Abia South senatorial district election to the All Progressive Grand Alliance candidate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.
Abaribe polled 49,693 votes to defeat his closest rivals and the candidate of the Labour Party, Chinedu Onyeizu, who got 43,903 votes, while Ikpeazu of the PDP polled 28,422 votes.
The lawmaker was declared winner in Aba on Tuesday, February 28, by the returning officer for the election, Prof Georgina Ugwuanyi.