BY ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM
Since the declaration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Nigeria’s President-elect by the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Senate leadership tussle has continued to generate ripples from various quarters.
While many believed that it is time for a Christain to head the green chamber, others feel religion should be expunged from Nigeria’s polity completely and should not have any bearing on who emerges as president of the Senate.
If Nigerians and the political class want to be sincere with themselves, with 26.5 per cent, the North-west had the highest proportion of votes cast in the presidential election. This was followed by North-central with 17.2 per cent; South-west with 16.3 per cent; North-east with 13.2 per cent; South-south with 11 per cent; and South-east with 8.7 per cent.
For a start, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu got more votes from the North-west — the largest voting geo-political grouping in the country — than from the South-west (his home zone) or the South East.
In terms of volume, the North-west had the highest number of votes with about 6.6 million votes, followed by the North-central with above 4.5 million votes.
If the South East could only garner 8.7 per cent of the result as their contribution to the emergence of the president-elect, and someone who didn’t believe in Christian-Muslim ticket is now seeking to be the president of the Senate using same claim against the zone that gave the president-elect about 30 per cent, which is having the outgoing president as the slot they have for for the party, having lost Kano and Zamfara states, with Kebbi as inconclusive, meaning the North west is vulnerable to the APC, which is the stronghold of the party.
It is important to inform APC to be careful in how it goes about its dealings. 2023 has come and gone but do not loose your strong holds out of sentiment for someone whose region gave a mere 8.7 per cent against those who produced 30 per cent when you know you would still seek for votes from same people come 2027.
We have three arms of government, the Executive, Judiciary and the Legislature. We’ve known who the President of the country is, and we’ve known who the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) is ,(Head of Judiciary). The head of the Legislature is the president of the Senate who also serve as the chairman of the National Assembly.
If the APC in its wisdom zones it to the South East, they are only clever by half, abandoning the zone that gave them the highest votes , feeling they are just when it suits them— by saying they want to zone the Senate Presidency to the South East. When they were doing the Muslim-Muslims ticket, they weren’t just–to follow the practical norms which is the Muslim -Christain ticket.
They went ahead with the Muslim-Muslim ticket , therefore it would be unjust , whether the APC as a party or the president elect to determine which zone would have the Senate Presidency, knowing fully well they were all elected , therefore they should allow the legislature to be free for all.
Listening to the Vice-Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the north-west, Salihu Lukman, saying any Muslim aspiring to be senate president does not respect the constitution and the party, it shows that many people are unpatriotic and forget easily that the yet to be sworn in president who they all supported came on board and neglected same constitution to be president and vice president.
We should be sincere when we want to judge and not for our own personal aggrandizement. We should allow freedom of participation and not box people because we feel we can prove a point.
Anybody can contest to for the next Senate President because there’s no moral justification for zoning at the moment.
The implication of APC neglecting the Northwest, is that the APC chunk votes came from North West and it has lost its major states and given an opportunity for the opposition to be stronger in its own strong hold.
It’s a word for the wise.
The critical analysis here is , Alhaji Abubakar Atiku got 6,984,520 votes, Mr Obi Peter Gregory scored 6,101,533 , Musa Mohammed Rabiu Kwankwaso, 1,496,687 votes, in 2019 they were all of the PDP, meaning they splitted their votes given an opportunity for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to win with 8,794,726 votes. Imagine if such replicates itself in the Northwest come 2027(Northwest) which is the strong hold of APC.
So even if APC is calculating on an appointment of The Secretary to the Government of the Federation(SGF), Chief of Staff (CoS) and the likes, to the North , it’s not as good as having a senate President, who can be able to attract more government attention to the zone.
APC should tread with caution.