The decision on the geopolitical zones that should produce the next leadership positions of the 10th National Assembly has reportedly divided members of the House of Representatives.
Several members of the House are making a case on why their zone should fill certain positions, ahead of the June 2023 inauguration of the 10th National Assembly.
Some lawmakers expected to contest for speakership seat in the House include the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase; Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; Chairman of the House Committee on Navy, Yusuf Gagdi; Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations, Aliyu Betara; and Chairman, House Committee on Science Research Institutes, Olaide Akinremi, as well as Kalu, among others.
On the other hand, at least two members of the Senate have openly declared their presidential ambitions. They are the Majority Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu; and Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Jibrin Barau.
Several of the lawmakers said to be nursing the ambition of becoming the Speaker of the House noted that the zoning plan of their party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), would determine which leadership positions to contest.
According to The PUNCH, speakership aspirants from the South-West might join the deputy speakership race, should the APC take the office of the speaker to another zone.
A speakership aspirant, Benjamin Kalu, told the platform that some of the aspirants were already dropping the name of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, as backing their speakership bid.
Kalu, who is Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, dismissed the alleged support as untrue, calling for a level playing field in the race.
He said, “It is part of democracy and democratisation of the government. The party’s leadership will take its decision based on the need to balance power and create national cohesion.
A lot of things will be put into consideration before that decision is taken. All those who are rushing and claiming that the President-elect has nominated them, or that he is looking at them, are doing that on their own. The President-elect cannot do it.
“Moreover, the party is faced with the governorship election, after which they will now look at the issue of the National Assembly leadership.”
The presiding officers are the Senate President, Speaker of the House, Deputy President of the Senate and Deputy Speaker of the House. They are to be adopted or elected by members of the chambers respectively.
The principal officers are leaders of the majority and minority caucuses, who, together with the presiding officers, form the leadership of the chambers.
They are the Majority Leader, Deputy Majority Leader, Majority or Chief Whip, Deputy Whip, Minority Leader, Deputy Minority Leader, Minority Whip and Deputy Minority Whip.
While the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, is from the South-West, the Vice President-elect is from the North-East. Both of them are Muslims.
The APC is expected to be considering the remaining four zones – North-Central, North-West, South-South and South-East – for other leadership positions in the National Assembly and also consider religious balance in the executive and legislative arms of the government.