The Senate President seat is on course to be a tight race as the list of aspirants is filled with influential names
Sources have confirmed that the position of the Senate President is expected to be zoned to the south-south region
However, another source revealed that the selection of the new Senate President is subject to the discretion of the president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Ahead of the much-anticipated inauguration of the 10th National Assembly, the battle for the leadership position at the House of Senate has gotten another fresh twist.
The ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), which holds the power of numbers at the upper chamber of the National Assembly, has opened up on the preferred region it wishes to zone the senate presidency.
The ruling party controls 57 seats in the red chamber ahead of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with 27 seats giving them a strong advantage of numbers against their closest rivals.
Labour Party and the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) have six and two seats, respectively.
As reported by the Vanguard newspaper, the leadership of the APC confirmed that it may consider zoning the senate president to the South-South region while the deputy position would be zoned to the southwest.
Who are the aspirants
Meanwhile, the roaster of senators gunning for the number one seat in the red chamber is filled with strong prominent names.
Some of these names include the incumbent Senate President, Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North); Senator Orji Kalu (Abia North); Senator Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom Northwest), Senator Jibrin Barau (Kano North); Senator Abdul Ningi (APC); Senator Ali Ndume (Borno), Senator Abdul- Aziz Yari (Zamfara) and Senator Osita Izunaso (Imo West).
Meanwhile, some newcomers eyeing the number one seat in the Senate are Governor David Umahi (Ebonyi South) and Adams Oshiomhole (Edo North).
Another source confirmed that although the zoning for the senate presidency seems immanently for the southern region, consultations are still ongoing to select the most competent of all candidates from the southern region.
It was also gathered that the emergence of the Senate President and House of Representative Speaker would be on the terms of the president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The source said:
“In all we are conceiving, we are still at the realm of suggestions on how to navigate around the issue of leadership in the next National Assembly.
“Everything will still have to be subject to the thoughts, approval and implementation of the incoming president who is expected back before next week.”
Senate presidential seat to go to highest ranking senators – Report
An analysis by the Nigerian Tribune gave a different submission about the Senate presidential seat.
The analysis titled: “Senate presidency: APC’s daunting task” revealed that not every Senator is qualified to vie for the number one seat in the red chamber.
Referencing the statutory stipulations of the federal constitution, Order 3, Rule 2 of the Senate Standing Orders 2022, as amended on the nomination of presiding officers and appointments of Principal Officers and other Officers of the Senate, says nomination shall be in accordance with the ranking of Senators.
These rankings were outlined as:
“(i) Senators returning based on number of times re-elected; (ii) Senators who had been members of the House of Representatives, (iii) Senators elected as Senators for the first time.”
This means that new senators-elect like Adams Oshiomhole and Governor Dave Umahi stand to chance to claim the senate president seat.
Akpabio Planning to Dump Senate Presidential Race? Full Details Emerge
In another development, former minister of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has no plan to forgo his ambition to be Senate president.
A former commission in Edo state has debunked the claim that Godswill Akpabio is stepping down from contesting for the Senate presidency.
Kassima Afegbua said Akpabio is still in the race for the Senate president position alongside other lawmakers.