Abdulaziz Yari, senator-elect representing Zamfara West, has labeled the proposition of having the leaders of the arms of government begin from the south alone an unfair one.
AF24NEWS reports that between 2019 and June 2022, three northerners — President Muhammadu Buhari (Katsina), Senate President Ahmad Lawan (Yobe), and Muhammad Tanko, former chief justice of Nigeria (Bauchi) — led the three arms of government.
However, Yari, in an interview with Arise TV on Tuesday expressed his displeasure with the possibility of leaders of the three arms of government arising from the southern part of Nigerian.
The former Zamfara governor, who declared his bid for senate presidency last month, has been an open critic of the zoning arrangement of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the leadership of the 10th national assembly.
The APC had nominated Godswill Akpabio and Jibrin Barau as senate president and deputy senate president respectively.
Yari was one of the senators-elect who presented a “protest letter” to the leadership of the APC over the zoning formula.
Commenting on his opposition to the party’s stance, Yari said the move would mean the leaders of all three arms of the incoming government are from the south.
Bola Tinubu, the president-elect, is from Lagos; Olukayode Ariwoola, chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), is from Oyo; and Akpabio is from Akwa Ibom.
Yari said the APC’s zoning arrangement of legislature leadership was not a product of widened consultation and consideration for “federal character”.
“Right from the beginning, the party has a tradition of widening the consultation: meeting with the president and all the members of the national of assembly; because it is not the party’s business but that of the country,” the senator-elect said.
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“But the party did not do any of the above, and what we saw in the media was that they had two meetings, and we were given names to adopt. That is not adequate enough. Because all of them are just advisory bodies, the constitution gives the right to choose national assembly leaders to only the parliamentarians. The party can zone, but it is left for the individual to accept or reject.
“APC has zoned and now we are asking them questions: On what basis? Have you taken into cognizance the federal character? The president, chief justice of the federation, and national assembly chairman –all the three arms of government — are in one place? The chief justice is from Oyo state, Tinubu is from Lagos state, and Akpabio is from Akwa Ibom, all at the same time. And the next chief justice is also going to be from the South-West.”
Yari added that the implication is that all three arms of government will be controlled by the southern part of Nigeria, describing the situation as lopsided.
If Akpabio is elected senate president, it will not be the first time a region would produce the leaders of all arms of government.