Reports emanating from the camp of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee suggest the positions of the Deputy Senate President and Senate Majority Leader may have been zoned to the South-South and North-Central respectively.
It was garnered that the party through its 21-member NWC had also zoned the Deputy Majority Leader post to the South-East while the Chief Whip and Deputy Chief Whip positions were zoned to the North-West and South-West respectively.
The result of this decision means the ambition of the wife of the National Leader of the party, Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC, Lagos) to become the deputy Senate President in the ninth assembly may have been truncated.
However, a top member who spoke anonymously to our source on Friday, March 29 explained the zoning formula “is not yet cast in iron”.
He continued, “Based on our tentative arrangement, the position of the Deputy Senate President has been zoned to the South-South. The Majority Leader position has been zoned to the North-Central, while the Deputy Majority Leader slot will be zoned to the South-East.
“Also, the position of the Chief Whip has been zoned to the North-West while that of the Deputy Chief Whip has been zoned to the South-West. It is either the South-West gets that or the Deputy Majority Leader position, but as I said, that would most likely go to the South-East.
“But we have no specific candidates for the positions. I have also read that the party is trying to push for a consensus for those positions to avoid issues; we will see as things unfold; don’t forget that we still have till June.”
It was also learnt that the party had only concluded the zoning of the Speaker’s position to the South-West, while sharing of other principal offices of the House of Representatives’ leadership jobs were still being deliberated upon.
On Wednesday, March 27, the APC issued a statement via its National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Isa-Onilu explaining that the party had only decided to make Ahmed Lawan the President of the Senate.
He said the zoning formula for the remaining positions in the Senate and the House of Representatives were being worked out.
Nonetheless, the party seemed to shift position on Friday after the national caucus including President Muhammadu Buhari, voted for the retention of the party’s zoning arrangement earlier planned for 2015.
This, it was gathered, influenced the zoning arrangement with Femi Gbajabiamila from Lagos State being seen as the most preferred candidate for the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.