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10th NASS: Tinubu Moves To Appease Aggrieved Aspirants, Yari’s Camp To Nominate Candidate




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With barely a week to the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly, some aspirants vying for principal positions in the leadership of the assembly have refused to be pacified despite the zoning arrangement of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).

Naija News gathered that it was for this reason that President Bola Tinubu is scheduled to hold another meeting with the senators and the House members today to address the issues threatening the power-sharing deal.

In May, the APC leadership zoned the Senate President and the Deputy Senate President seats to Senator Godswill Akpabio and Senator Jibrin Barau respectively, while member-elect representing Kaduna, Tajudeen Abbas, was picked as Speaker, and the member-elect from South East, Benjamin Kalu, clinched the Deputy Speaker slot.

However, aspirants like Senators Abdulaziz Yari, (Zamfara West); Osita Izunaso (Imo West), and Orji Kalu ( Abia North) vying for the position of the Senate President have insisted that they would not step down for the party’s consensus candidate.

Seven of the aggrieved aspirants, who have named their group the G-7, have continued to kick against the party’s zoning arrangement.

According to The Punch, a source revealed that the President is worried about the persistent aspirants and that is why he has called for today’s meeting.

The source noted that the meeting is to still appeal to them to step down their ambitions and respect the party’s supremacy concerning the consensus candidates.

“It is to tell them to toe the party line in the choice of leadership of the NASS. You already know the choice of a party for both Senate and Reps,” the source said.

Confirming the agenda of the meeting, the Director of Publicity for the APC, Bala Ibrahim said “If you look at the leadership style Asiwaju is trying to bring in, you will discover he wants a government that will have the take of everyone. He has been meeting with virtually everyone that has a stake in the project Nigeria. He has met with different sectors and strata of the society since he came into power.’’

Meanwhile, camps of the major contender like Kalu, Yari, and Izunaso have confirmed they are very much in the race.

The Chief Press Secretary to Senator Orji Kalu, Emeka Nwala on Wednesday told  The Punch that his principal is still very much in the race and not stepping down for anyone.

Nwala, who disclosed that his principal would attend today’s meeting with the President as a loyal party member, said concerning the consensus candidate of Yari’s camp, talks were still ongoing, and the curtain would be drawn on consultations latest by Sunday.

He said “Senator Orji Kalu is in the race and is not stepping down for Senator Akpabio. His position has not changed on that.

“We have a group and we are working with Senator Yari. By the weekend, we will agree on the consensus candidate. We are still in talks. Every aspirant aside from those handpicked is all meeting and in talks.”

Similarly, a source close to Izunaso said he is still neck deep in contesting, he, however, can not predict what his stand would be after today’s meeting with the President.

Also, a Special adviser to Isunazo, Kehinde Olaosebikan, “Senator Izunaso is not stepping down on his decision to be the Senate President, and by the grace of God he will be the next. He is in talks with Senator Yari but he isn’t considering the deputy senate president position. He is consulting as a group and the senators individually. Senator Izunaso is the next Senate President. ( ”

Speaking from the Yari camp, the Deputy Director General of Yari’s campaign team, Abdul Ningi submitted that “I’m not a member of the APC, I don’t know how the working committee of the APC works, but over 20 years we have seen consistent friction where people are imposed on the National Assembly beginning with (former senate presidents Evans) Enwerem and Chuba (Okadigbo).

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“Allow the senators, in my opinion, to choose whoever they want. The PDP had also made similar mistakes and I thought the APC should not have followed suit. Just as the party chose its chairman, allow the senators to also choose their own leader.”

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