The bid to negotiate and impress all stakeholders to accept the current zoning arrangement announced by the All Progressives Congress, APC, has suffered fresh setback as the Director General of the Tinubu campaign which saw to his victory in the 2023 presidential election, Simon Lalong, joined other Northcentral governors to demand fresh zoning.
At a meeting which finished late into Monday night with a follow-up communique, Lalong, who is the Plateau State Governor, galvanised his counterparts across the region to reject what the party had announced.
The party announced a fortnight ago that the Southsouth and Northwest should take the Senate president and deputy while also announcing that the Northwest and Southeast would produce the Speaker of the House of Representatives and deputy respectively.
This has angered the Southeast, Northcentral and Northeast who have all rejected the allocation of the principal positions for the 10th Assembly.
These three zones have aspirants for all the positions and have called for fresh arrangement.
Lawmakers-elect from Lalong’s Northcentral region said they feel betrayed having played a crucial role in the emergence of Tinubu by producing the third highest number of votes in the February 25 presidential election.
Besides that, they said they supported Lalong who worked round the clock to ensure Tinubu’s victory.
While re-stating their commitment to the Tinubu administration, they however called for a fresh zoning arrangement to ensure the zone is represented and compensated for playing a crucial role towards the victory.
In the communique issued after the meeting which had in attendance of Senators and members of the House of Representatives vying for various Presiding offices in the National Assembly, they demanded for at least the position of the deputy Senate president.
The Communique, which was jointly signed by Abubakar Sani Bello, Governor Niger State and Chairman of North Central Governors Forum, read, “The meeting resolved as follows: That the North Central as a geopolitical zone is fully committed to supporting the incoming administration of the President-Elect Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for a better Nigeria.
“It will do everything possible to ensure the Renewed Hope agenda is actualised for the prosperity of all Nigerians.
“The meeting reviewed the proposed zoning structure released and promised to reach out to the President-elect His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu and APC National Working Committee to appeal for re-consideration of the zoning of the Presiding offices of the National Assembly as released by the NWC.
“The meeting discussed the zoning as released and raised reservation with the allocation of the Positions of the Deputy Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the 10th National Assembly to a particular geopolitical zone of the country.
“That the meeting resolved and agreed to fully utilize all necessary dialogue and consultations to resolving the NASS leadership issue, they all agreed to reach out to all major stakeholders for an amicable and acceptable zoning framework that will be all inclusive,” it said.
The governors added that, “The Governors agreed with the aspirants positions and appealed to all Senators and Members-elect to continue to give Mr President-elect all the support needed for the smooth take up of the 10th National Assembly, while also furthering consultations.
“The meeting will reconvene again to review issues “
Others who attended the meeting are, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq (Kwara State); Abdullahi Sule, (Nassarawa); Yahaya Bello (Kogi); Rev. Fr Hyacinth Alia, Governor-elect, (Benue); Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, APC, Niger East and an aspirant; Rt.Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives (Aspirant) and Yusuf Gagdi, Reps Member (Aspirant).