‘We Didn’t Zone Senate Presidency To N’Central’ | Independent Newspapers Limited
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‘We Didn’t Zone Senate Presidency To N’Central’

Posted: May 27, 2015 at 1:25 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

•Saraki Emerges Zone’s Sole Candidate 

By Ignatius Okorocha, Abuja


The All Progressives Congress (APC), on Tuesday, denied a report that its National Working Committee (NWC) met on Monday night and ceded the Senate Presidency to the North-Central geo-political zone and the Speakership of the House of Representatives to the South-West.

The party said nothing like that happened.

In a statement issued in Abuja by its National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni, the party said it was deeply embarrassed by the story, which it added was apparently planted in the media to sow seeds of instability in the APC.

‘’The NWC never discussed the issue of zoning at its meeting. Therefore, the report of its decision on zoning is a figment of the imagination of whoever concocted the story,’’ it said.

The APC said nothing has changed since the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, said he was ready to work with anyone from any part of the country who occupies any of the principal offices in the incoming National Assembly, including those of the Senate Presidency and Speaker of the House.

Nonetheless, the North-Central geo-political zone caucus of the upper chamber, said it has endorsed the candidacy of Senator Bukola Saraki from Kwara State as its sole candidate in the race for the nation’s number three position. Elections are expected to hold in a fortnight, when the National Assembly would be inaugurated.

The APC in the zone, which announced the decision in Abuja, also on Tuesday, said the choice of Saraki as sole candidate followed the withdrawal of another contestant from the zone, Senator George Akume, from the race.

In a communiqué at the end of a crucial meeting of APC chairmen in the zone, held in Abuja, it was unanimously resolved that the area is only interested in the office of the Senate Presidency which had earlier been zoned to it by the party’s NWC.

The communiqué said that sequel to the decision of one of the contenders from the zone to withdraw his interest in the position, members concluded that Senator Saraki remains the sole candidate to be presented to the leadership of the APC.

The zone said Saraki’s endorsement was borne out of his unprecedented commitment to the growth and success of the party at all levels in the country.

It added that Saraki’s commitment, sacrifices, sincerity and purposeful leadership ensured the success of all the Senators, House of Representatives members, House of Assembly members as well as gubernatorial candidates in the affected states within the zone.

The communiqué further noted the “collective decision to produce a single candidate from the zone to the office of the Senate Presidency and we abide with same considering the fact that all our distinguished senators from the zone had equally maintained similar position in their earlier meetings.”

The chairmen who endorsed the communiqué have therefore rejected an attempt by some individuals and a group within and outside the North Central to jeopardise the collective will of the people of the zone.

They said that they vehemently oppose any alliance, horse trading and fixing of positions in a way that may sabotage the official position of the APC North Central Zone, as such step runs contrary to the interest and yearnings of the people, the APC members and the zone on a larger scale.

“As the Party leaders in our various states, we hereby unequivocally say that our people unanimously give their support to Saraki’s Senate Presidency without iota of doubt in his ability to make the zone and Nigeria proud in no distant future just as he had delivered in other endeavours he has been involved in the pas.

“Also, we solicit the support of all elected Senators and House of Representatives members from other geo-political zones to give their total support to this great son of Nigeria who has distinguished himself in a similar responsibility in recent past and they should be rest assured that he will not disappoint them,” it added.