POLITICS

NASS leadership: Tinubu defers zoning decision after May 29

Ahead of the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly in June, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it will work with the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, to come up with an acceptable consensus arrangement for the leadership of the assembly.

National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, disclosed this after a troubleshooting meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) in Abuja, yesterday.

According to him, APC cannot take a final stand on the thorny issue of zoning of seats of principal officers of the National Assembly without the input of the President-elect. He, however, said there is no cause for alarm as the party is still consulting with Tinubu on the matter.

Briefing journalists, he said: “The outcome of our four-hour meeting is that we came out more formidable and united than anything.

“On the issue of zoning, that is not what today’s meeting was all about. When we do the zoning meeting and we don’t just go alone as a party; zoning will take into consideration the person who has the mandate of this country, the president-elect. We want to take him along. He travelled after the elections and he came back only last week and we have to carry him along.

“We cannot stop those who are ambitious or projecting zoning interest, or individual interest, we cannot deny them and as long as that is there, we have to find a way, persuasively, to reach some level of consensus. That is what we are working on. It is not a one-day affair. ”

However, for anxious politicians waiting for the zoning template of the leadership of the National Assembly by the ruling party, they might have to wait till after the inauguration of the President-elect on May 29.

Sources close to the inner caucus of the party told The Guardian, yesterday, that there are pressures on the President-elect not to be in a hurry in taking decisions about zoning of the leadership of the National Assembly because of the intrigues ongoing among politicians from different geopolitical zones in the country.

It was gathered that the simmering internal crisis in the APC and counter-reactions from contending zones that might lose out in the power game may affect the May 29 inauguration and distract Tinubu from focusing on the tasks ahead of him.

The source said: “I can assure you that the President-elect has what it takes to resolve the matter and make all zones happy but it is better for him to take the decision on zoning after his inauguration. There is a wide gap of difference between a President-elect and a President.”

When reminded that the outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari did the same thing by not taking decisions on zoning of leadership of the National Assembly until his inauguration in 2015, in which the party eventually lost out after the emergence of Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as Senate President and Deputy Senate President respectively, the source said: “We have taken this into consideration. The issue of zoning will be resolved before the constitution of the 10th National Assembly by the President or the Clerk of the House.”

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