Today, I decided to deal with this burning issue of the leadership of the incoming 10th National Assembly, and dispassionately express my views and opinions, mindful of the power dynamics currently at play in the center. I therefore plead with my readers to indulge me this one time as I take a stroll, once again, in the political arena.
Before I proceed, I want to congratulate all the participants in the just concluded Governorship and State House of Assembly elections. I need not discuss the performance of the Prof. Mamood Yakub’s INEC anymore, but I give kudos to the participants, especially to the unsuccessful candidates for not resorting to violence in the midst of provocations that may have led to anarchy, and to the winners for their successful emergence, especially my friends and allies across the nation. We look forward to robust legislative engagements in most of the States’ Houses of Assembly, given the emergence of young vibrant legislators.
Now, back to the incoming 10th National Assembly, I also want to congratulate all the winners from the different political parties across the nation. For the first time, the National Assembly is witnessing a massive influx of fresh legislators and the composition of the Assembly includes members from about seven political parties in Nigeria, namely; APC, PDP, LP, NNPP, APGA, YPP and SDP. In view of the diversity inherent in the composition of the 10thNational Assembly, Nigerians expect a robust engagement in both chambers of the National Assembly.
The performance of the 10th National Assembly will depend largely on the choice of the leadership of the Assembly. I have therefore decided to do a personal analysis and make projections on the leadership that should emerge for the 10th National Assembly, particularly in the Senate. From the normal flow of the political tides, the next President of the Senate should come from the South, same region with the President, while the Speaker of the House of Reps should come from the North, same region with the Vice President. This has been the trend since the return to democracy, starting with the 4th Republic in 1999. It is therefore expected that the President of the Senate should come from either the South East or the South South-geopolitical zone. Interestingly, these two geopolitical zones have ranking Senators of the APC, the party that has produced the President-elect as declared by INEC, in the persons of Senators Orji Uzor Kalu (South East) and Godswill Akpabio (South South).
These two Senators are ranking Senators, both are former Governors of their States, and have been principal officers of the Senate. Akpabio was sww Minority Leader of the Senate in the 8thAssembly, while Orji Uzor Kalu is the Chief Whip of the Senate in the current 9th Assembly, and a major stabilizing factor in the politics and power play of the Senate of this current 9thAssembly. It is my view that given the critical position of the South East vis-à-vis the injustice of not zoning the Presidential ticket of the ruling APC to the South East, that the position of Senate President should naturally be conceded to the South East, and since the South East has such a ranking Senator as His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, who is the Chief Whip of the Senate in this 9th Assembly, I think it would be fair and just, and indeed in good conscience, to concede the position of Senate President to the South East, and in particular to Senator Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, who I know for a certainty that he has the requisite charismatic posture, competence, character and capacity to pilot the affairs of the incoming 10th National Assembly with a view to taking this nation, Nigeria, to the next level of national development.
In the light of the above, I endorse His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, for the position of President of the Senate of the incoming 10th National Assembly, and I enjoin all well-meaning lovers of democracy, in the spirit of equity and fairness, to support this ideal and prevail on the Senators of the incoming 10thNational Assembly to elect Sen. Dr. Orji UzorKalu as President of the Senate.
See you next week, as we continue the discussion on the Resolution of Student Union conflicts.
Comrade Igwe Patrick Afubera writes from Abuja.