- The APC and PDP are set to announce the occupants of the other principal offices in the National Assembly
- Ahead of the political parties decision, a rat race of sorts has ensued among lawmakers eyeing the slots
- Both chambers of the National Assembly - Senate and House of Representatives are expected to produce eight positions each
A report by Vanguard indicates that leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are set to meet to determine the occupants of the other principal offices in the National Assembly.
According to the report, ahead of the meeting, a rat race of sorts has ensued among lawmakers eyeing the slots.
President Muhammadu Buhari is also set to meet the APC National Assembly caucus and party leaders to discuss the issue and take a decision.
On its part, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representatives caucus was already meeting on the issue at press time.
Barring any last minute change of plans, the ruling APC is set to zone the Senate leadership to the south-west, even as a contender from the south-east was said to have emerged too.
By the APC arrangement, the party is said to be considering the south-east for the position of chief whip and deputy Senate leader.
Party insiders suggests that a former Senate leader and third time senator, Teslim Folarin representing Oyo central senatorial district is being considered for another shot at the same job while former governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu representing Abia north senatorial district is being considered for either deputy Senate leader or chief whip.
“APC leaders are said to be careful not to make mistakes, but many of us prefer Teslim (Folarin) because he has been in that same office before and this is his third time in the Senate having been there from 2003-2011,” said a party source.
He, however, said the ultimate decision lies with President Muhammadu Buhari who is the leader of the party.
His words: “I know for a fact that the president will have a ‘chat’ with some party leaders including the new National Assembly leadership tonight (Wednesday).
“So, anything can come up from there, but the south-east is most likely to get chief whip and maybe, north-central, deputy chief whip. But, like I said, these are just proposals. The president has the final say on this issue.”
Both chambers of the National Assembly- Senate and House of Representatives are expected to produce eight positions each.
The eight positions in each House are majority leader, deputy majority leader, chief whip, deputy chief whip, minority leader, deputy minority leader, minority whip and deputy minority whip. The slots will be filled by the parties’ caucuses in consultation with the leadership of the parties.
The question of zoning and ensuring balance in the sharing of offices are expected to play crucial roles in the filling of the offices.
Those eyeing the Senate positions include Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa, north central); Senator Orji Uzor Kalu (APC, Abia, south-east); Senator Ike Ekweremadu (PDP, Enugu, south-east); Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia, south-east); and Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (APC, Kebbi north-west).
In the House of Representatives, the likes of Ado Doguwa from Kano state; Mohammed Bago (Niger); Nkeiru Onyejeocha (Abia); Yakubu Dogara (Bauchi); John Dyegh (Benue); and Ossai Nicholas Ossai among others are considered as front runners.
Meanwhile, the senator representing Ebonyi south senatorial district in the National Assembly, Chief Michael Ama Nnachi has assured the people of his constituency that he will not let them down as a lawmaker of the federal republic of Nigeria.
Chief Nnachi made the vow in Abuja on Tuesday, June 11 during a reception to celebrate his inauguration as a senator.
He stated that he will move and support quality laws, adding that he will continue to work hard until the people of his senatorial district enjoy the full dividends of democracy.