Issues bothering on zoning of various Principal Officers in the Senate and House of Representatives is expected to top agenda at the scheduled meeting being convened by the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu with elected members of the 10th Assembly, on Monday.
The meeting is scheduled to hold at the Banquet Hall, State House is part of the stakeholder-wide consultation ahead of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s handing over ceremony and inauguration of the 10th Assembly.
Recall that the 22-member Presidential Transition Council chaired by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha is expected to facilitate the handing over process by the current President to the President-elect; organize the security of the President-elect and the Vice President-elect, including coordination of security briefings on the nation’s post-election security matters.
The Council is also expected to coordinate the briefings of the President-elect by relevant public officers; facilitate communication between the outgoing President and the President-elect; prepare the programme and organize the swearing-in ceremony, among others.
On the zoning of the House of Representatives’ Body of Principal Officers, one of the lawmakers confirmed that about six ranking members have so far expressed interest for the office of the Speaker.
He however noted that the lawmakers’ expression of interest was devoid of religious sentiment or geopolitical zones.
Top on the list are: incumbent Deputy Speaker, Hon. Idris Wase; Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations, Hon. Aliyu Betara (APC-Borno); Chairman, House Committee on Media & Public Affairs, Hon. Benjamin Kalu (APC-Abia) as well as former Chairman, House Committee on National Security & Intelligence, Hon. Sani Jaji (APC-Zamfara);
Speaking further, he observed that the incumbent Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila is being considered as the Chief of Staff to Senator Tinubu.
He however expressed reservation on the office to be occupied by the incumbent Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Hon. James Abiodun Faleke.
Speaking further on the choice of the President of the Senate, the lawmaker expressed optimism that the President-Elect will ensure equity and justice to all the geopolitical zones.
He opined that the President-Elect may announce his preference for a South East Senate President during the closed door meeting with the APC leaders on Monday.
“For balance of power, our President elect understands that to have a rancor free administration, every region must be carried along and the South East is very paramount to him.
“He has confined in us his commitment to support the emergence of a Senate President from the Southeast for the sake of equity, fairness and justice, thus maintaining the balance of power and a sense of inclusion.
“In 2015, the Southeast were told to blame themselves for not voting for APC which could have given them the Senate Presidency. In 2019, they said the Southeast has no ranking Senator but in 2023, there’s no excuse because the Southeast despite the massive votes they gave to the Labour Party still voted for six APC Senators, some of whom are ranking lawmakers.
“Tinubu is fully committed a Senate President of Southeast extraction. I can confirm because he believes it is the right thing to do and the move will also calm frayed nerves in the South-East. He also wants to prevent unnecessary spending, bad blood lobbying which might culminate to hijacking of the National Assembly like it happened in 2015” he said.