Yari meets Buhari, says North deserves Senate Presidency

April 30, 2023

5.7 min readCategories: Politics
  •  10th Senate: Northern stakeholders to meet over Kalu-Musa ticke

The Former Governor of Zamfara State and senator-elect, Abdul’Aziz Yari, on Sunday in Abuja, urged the All Progressives Congress to “reward performance” and not consider ethnicity or religion when zoning key offices in the 10th National Assembly.

“I’m advising the party that they should reward performance, not religion. Because religion is not in the constitution of Nigeria, and it is not in our manifesto and our constitution,” Yari said shortly after an audience with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at his official residence at the State House, Abuja.

Yari, who is one of the new senators-elect vying for the Senate Presidency, argued that the North being the highest contributor of votes to ensure APC victory in the February 25 presidential elections, should be offered the opportunity to produce the next senate helmsman.

“Everyone knows the role that we played, despite the fact that other people are thinking we have our own. But we voted on the party line which gave the APC leeway to grab the presidency again.

“So, therefore, we’re saying the party should do the right thing. And those that are going around saying ‘Muslim-Christian,’ should be very careful. Our education in politics is more than that now.

“They should not overheat the polity of the party with religion. If APC goes with religion, people in northern Nigeria that did the real voting, they’ll be annoyed and they will lose hope and confidence in the APC. And that’s the truth of the matter,” he said.

Yari added that the APC must exercise caution in its next course of action as the party no longer has the numbers it used to have in the past.

He said “The 10th assembly is a completely different assembly from the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth. Usually, any party that has a majority has the majority with two-thirds most of the time. But our own case is completely different.

“Why? Because in the House of Representatives, I told him (the President) that the minority are having the higher number there, they have 182. While our party has 178. In the Senate where we used to have like 65, 70, we now have 59 and the opposition has 50.

“In taking the decision of the party, they have to put these into consideration and look at how it’s going to be done. Because at the end of the whole exercise, whatever happens, we strongly believe that elections must hold in both chambers.”

The former Zamfara state governor who said he did not disclose his aspiration to Buhari said he was at the Villa to felicitate with the President for the successful conduct of the 2023 elections which saw his party retaining the top office.

“I came to wish him a good Eid-el-Fitr and also to pray to Almighty Allah to continue to guide him to accept our fasting and also to accept our Eid-El-Fitr and to congratulate him because, since the election, I have not be able to come because of one activity or the other.

“So I came to thank him for the fatherly guidance given to us to where we are. So that’s the main reason why I came here,” Yari said.

10th Senate: Northern stakeholders to meet over Kalu-Musa ticket

Northern stakeholders drawn across party and religious divides are set to convene to deliberate over the choice of the Senate Chief Whip, Orji Kalu and Senator Sani Musa (Niger East) as preferred candidates for Senate President and Deputy Senate President of the 10th National Assembly, respectively.

It was learnt that, yesterday, the stakeholders comprising of some senators-elect, traditional and religious stalwarts, have agreed to meet and brainstorm on the endorsement of the Senate Chief Whip and his Niger East senator colleague as the choice of President-elect, BolaTinubu, and senators-elect.

Tinubu had, during the week, accepted that the All Progressives Congress zone the Senate presidency of the incoming 10th National Assembly.

The development formed the details of what transpired at the last meeting with the President-elect, the leadership of the All Progressives Congress and some National Assembly members.

Many. however, expressed their confidence in the duo of returning senators Kalu and Musa to the offices of the President and Deputy Senate President of the National Assembly.

Moved by the development a member of the NWC from the North, who spoke on condition of anonymity, revealed that there is still disagreement among the Northern stakeholders on who becomes the Senate President.

On the yet-to-be-decided date, the stakeholders are expected to reach a truce on the issue.

It was learnt that some stakeholders still want the North to produce the Senate president while others are willing to concede the office to the South East.

Also, according to the NWC member, “The South East may have been ignored in the past and we do not want a situation whereby the incoming government will be faced with a lot of challenges. The political consciousness and awareness in today’s Nigeria is one that should not be overlooked.

We know we gave the votes but peaceful governance should also be considered. We will meet and take decisions on the President-elect’s decision.

“We are definitely not against his choice of senators Kalu and Musa as President and Deputy President, respectively, because both of them are acceptable to all Nigerians considering their character and personality.

“But we will also want the President-elect to take serious measures to appreciate the North West for their contribution, the source disclosed.”

Another ranking senator-elect, who also pleaded anonymity, said the meeting of the stakeholders will help the North to move in unison.

According to the senator-elect, it is expected that every region will fight for their interest to be protected in the incoming administration.

On the choice of Orji Kalu, the lawmakers held that there are no grudges against the candidature of the former Abia governor describing him as a strong ally of the North.

“We are not opposed to Kalu becoming the Senate president; over the years, he has proven to have our interest at heart, as you can see from the prestigious traditional titles he has earned from us, but we need to come together and agree on this because our interest is paramount. By the end of the meeting involving various stakeholders in the North, we will know the direction of the North.

“It will strengthen us more. If the Senate president will not come to us we will make other demands. We will support the choice of Kalu and Musa, because they have the numbers to win the election too.

“They are popular among the northern senators and it is fair and just to have a South Easterner as the President of the 10th Assembly. Many of my colleagues share the same sentiment that a South Easterner should be president of the Senate.”

Credit: Punch

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