In its bid to have a balanced government that considers all geo-political zones of the country, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has earmarked the Senate President to come from the South-East region for the 10th National Assembly.
This is coming as a strong indication emerged that Senator Godswill Akpabio may have dropped his ambition to run for Senate President.
In the alternative, he is said to be pursuing a ministerial appointment in the cabinet of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
It will be recalled that Akpabio, a former Minority Leader of the Senate and immediate past minister of Niger Delta Affairs in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, resigned his portfolio, following the provision of section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act of 2022 to contest the presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
But at the convention ground, Akpabio stepped down for Tinubu who later won the party’s ticket and also went ahead to win the keenly contested February 25, 2023, presidential election.
Vanguard gathered from reliable sources within the party hierarchy and the National Assembly, yesterday, that Akpabio’s decision to drop his Senate presidential ambition was informed by the decision of the party to zone the slot to the South East.
While some of the senators in the 9th National Assembly have publicly made known their intention to vie for the office of the Senate president, others are yet to do so.
Some of the contenders for the President of the Senate include former governor of Abia State and current Chief Whip, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu; Senators Jibrin Barau (APC, Kano North); Sani Musa (APC, Niger East); and Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South).
But, Kalu has the brightest chance to emerge the next Senate President in June when the principal leaders would be inaugurated, if the sources are anything to go by.
Also speculated to be on the list against the ranking standing rule are the former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari (APC, Zamfara West); the outgoing governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi (APC, Ebonyi South), and former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole (APC, Edo North).
One of the sources who pleaded anonymity said that barring any last-minute eventuality, the party leadership would soon announce the zoning arrangements of all the presiding and principal offices both in the Senate and the House.
Tinubu will be sworn in as president on May 29, 2023, barely two months from now and he is mandated by a new law signed by President Buhari in the constitutional alterations to form his cabinet within 60 days of assumption of office.