My Senate Presidency Bid Is Superior To APC Zoning Arrangement— Former Governor Yari Insists

By Damilare Adeleye

Former Zamfara State Governor and Senator elect, Abdul Aziz Yari has again rejected the zoning arrangement for the positions of presiding officers of the National Assembly presented by the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee .

The APC zoning template has unveiled a south south/ North West pair for the Senate with Godswill Akpabio ( Akwa Ibom North West and Barau Jibrin ( Kano North ) as anointed candidates.

Following that, Senator Yari led two other aspirants for office of Senate President: Senate Chief Whip, Orji Kalu and Senator representing Niger East ,Sani Musa to present a formal joint petition to the APC National Working Committee last week.

While addressing journalists on Monday at an induction programme organised for Senators and Members-elect for the 10th National Assembly at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Abuja, Senator Yari noted that the APC proclamation was an affront on his right, guaranteed in the nation Constitution.

Yari said: “My aspiration for Presidency of the 10th Senate is covered by relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution, which to me, is superior to any other law or arrangement .

“I am a loyal party man, nobody has told me that any position has been zoned to anywhere as far as the 10th National Assembly is concerned.

“Position of President of the Senate is first among equals among the 109 Senators. Any Senator-elect who wants to occupy the position must seek for support of others, which I am doing.

“It is hire and fire arrangement. I want them to hire me as President of the 10th Senate on the day of inauguration. Many of those approached by me have given their supports and I won’t disappoint them.

“My becoming Senate President on the day of inauguration lies with decision that will be made by 108 other Senators that day and nothing else.”

Similarly, former national Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance and Senator elect on the platform of Labour Party, Victor Umeh also argued that senators, not the ruling party would decide those that would emerge as presiding officers of the Red Chamber.

“APC as the ruling party and the party with majority of seats in the Senate has zoned the positions of President and Deputy President of the 10th Senate to the zones it felt deserve them, but on the day of inauguration, Senators-elect will decide the fate of those interested in the positions as provided for by relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution.”