10th NASS: Zoning Senate Presidency to South contravenes Federal Character – Yari


Ahead of the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly, the zoning template for the 10th National Assembly Presiding offices by the National Working Committee, NWC of the All Progressives Congress, APC still appears to be causing crisis and creating problems for the ruling party against the backdrop that Senators and members of the House of Representatives have continued to vehemently kick against it.

One of the aspirants to the position of Senate President is Zamfara West Senator-elect and Senate President aspirant, Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari who said yesterday that the zoning formula of the ruling APC on the 10th Senate leadership positions was in conflict with the 1999 Constitution (as amended)

According to him, the zoning template by the party is not in line with the Constitution against the backdrop that is in breach of the federal character principle as enshrined in the constitution.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja while featuring as a guest on Arise News Channel’s breakfast Morning show programme, Yari who is the former Zamfara State governor and one-time member of the House of Representatives also took a swipe at the religion balancing rationale behind the APC zoning arrangement, saying it was unknown to the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as the nation’s law book only provides for federal character in sharing of offices for balancing and not religion as a factor.


He said that the APC zoning formula for election of Presiding officers for the 10th Senate was unconstitutional and unfair to Northern Nigeria as all the heads of the three arms of government will be Southerners.

READ ALSO:It is unfair to have leaders of three arms of government from the south — Yari

Recall that the ruling party had penultimate week annointed Senator Godswill Akpabio (South-South) and Senator Barau Jibril (North-West) as Senate President and Deputy for the incoming 10th Senate, respectively.

Abdul’aziz Yari said, “I am particularly talking about the APC, if they decide to zone (Senate leadership positions), we ask them a question, on what do you base the zoning? Have you taken the federal character into cognizance, where the President, the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the National Assembly chairman, the three arms of government, are in one place?

“The present Chief Justice of Nigeria is from Oyo State; Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President-elect is from Lagos State, and Akpabio is from Akwa Ibom State at the same time. While the next Chief Justice of the Federation (Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun) is also going to be from the South-West.

“So, have you ever seen, let’s say since 1960, whether this kind of thing has happened during the Shagari era, coming to Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan? It only happened during Buhari’s time slightly before CJN Onnoghen took over the Judiciary for some time.

“Now it happens that (with APC zoning arrangement), all the three arms of government are in the Southern part of the country. How could that be fair to Northern Nigeria?”


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