By Olugbenga Salami
Ahead of the inauguration of 10th National Assembly, the Forum of National Assembly Legislative Aides from the North West geo-political zone has called on aspirants for the offices of presiding officers from both the Senate and House of Representatives to respect the zoning arrangements recently made by the National Working Committee, NWC of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The forum made the call at a special press conference held on Tuesday at the National Assembly, Abuja.
The APC had in its zoning arrangements for the leadership of 10th National Assembly, picked Senator Godswill Akpabio from South South, as its preferred candidate for the office of the President of the Senate and Senator Jibrin Barau from North West as his deputy.
The party in a statement signed to that effect by its National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, picked Hon. Tajudeen Abbas from North West for the Speakership position of the House of Representatives and Hon. Benjamin Kalu from South East for Deputy Speakership position.
The zoning arrangement was however not respected by some other APC federal lawmakers-elect interested in the positions like Abdulaziz Yari from Zamfara West vying for Senate President, Sani Musa from Niger East vying for Deputy Senate President, Muktar Betara from Borno vying for Speakership of the House of Representatives etc.
But in their support for the choices made by the NWC of APC, the National Assembly Legislative Aides from North West, said the party was in order for picking Senator Jibrin Barau for Deputy President of the Senate and Hon. Tajudeen Abbas for Speakership of the House of Representatives.
The forum in its statement signed by the Zonal Leader, AbdulRazaq Dunkawa and Secretary, Silas Gabriel Garba, said North West deserved the two presiding officers’ positions zoned to it, for contributing the highest number of votes to the APC in the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The statement reads in part: “We Legislative Aides from the North West like to place on record that the geo-political zone contributed the highest number of votes to the APC in the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
“Results from the elections show that North West played crucial role of keeping APC in power by securing the majority of Honourable members and Distinguished Senators in both chambers.
“The zone no doubt rightly deserves the zoning made by the party as far as leadership of the 10th National Assembly is concerned.
“We, therefore, call on other contestants to allow for party supremacy to establish discipline , order and legislative democracy to thrive in the 10th National Assembly.”