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Orji Kalu, Akpabio, Others Take Battle For NASS Leadership To APC NWC




Ahead of the June 13, 2023, inauguration of the 10th National Assembly, campaigns and lobbying for leadership positions are now taking place at the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC).

Naija News reports that highly contested positions are the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Deputy President of the Senate, and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.

A total of seven political parties won senatorial seats, with the ruling APC topping the chart with 57 seats.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won 29 seats; Labour Party won seven; New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) won two; Social Democratic Party (SDP) had two, while the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Young Peoples Party (YPP) won one each.

According to Saturday Sun, the battle for who would emerge leaders of the 10th National Assembly and where the leaders would come from has shifted to the National Working Committee (NWC) of APC, where Abdullahi Adamu holds sway as National Chairman.

While many members of the APC  NWC favour the zoning of the various positions, others are pushing for the positions to be thrown open to ranking party members.

Recall that Adamu had, during the week, dismissed rumours that major positions for NASS leadership had been zoned.

“The report about the zoning arrangements for the 10th National Assembly is fake news. We have not done any zoning.

“I have said it times without number since Monday. I am still saying the same thing. No zoning has been established yet and agreed to.

“No zoning has been made public. Anybody who is saying anything, it is a rumour. It’s a wishful rumour,” he said.

Those who are reportedly eyeing the Senate President position are Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Godswill Akpabio, Senator Barau Jibrin, and Governor David Umahi, amongst others.

The source told Saturday Sun that NWC members have yet to take a position because of the unavailability of the president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is currently away in Europe.

He said NWC members were expected to meet with Tinubu or secure his approval in the coming days before the party’s leadership will take an official position.

According to the source, outside forces are mounting pressure on NWC members to throw the ticket open to ranking senators from the South-East and South-South. He said APC leaders from the North West are also pushing for the zoning of the position to their geopolitical zone, claiming that religion should not be a consideration.

He said: “There is serious lobbying going on. Arguments are being made, and no position has been taken yet. But the odds favour the South East. Since 2015, when APC came to power, the geopolitical zone has not held any serious position in government. The highest position held by the region in the current administration is the Chief Whip of the Senate.

“Some people are ready to spend money and ensure that APC doesn’t zone it to the South-East. But those people are in the minority. Governors, senators, and other party leaders want the position zoned to the South East.

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“If it is thrown open, the party will be unable to manage the outcome, and that’s dangerous for the incoming government. I believe the right thing will be done.”