By Emmanuel Mogbede
The Coalition of Progressives APC Stakeholders has advised the party`s National Working Committee (NWC) to discard the purported zoning and micro-zoning of principal officers of the incoming 10th National Assembly.
The National Coordinator of the coalition, Dr Alfred Gbaja, gave the advice at a news conference on Monday in Abuja, while speaking on the type of leadership the in-coming 10th National Assembly deserved.
Gbaja added that the offices should be left open for all Senators and House of Representatives members- elect to vote for the most credible members as one among equal.
He called on the President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, to see all APC Senators as his own who were elected to support his incoming administration.
He said Nigeria needed a leader who was ready to confront challenges and change same to the advantage of Nigerians.
Gbaja noted that ahead of the swearing in of the 10th National Assembly, there had been various agitations from different go-political zones.
This, he said, was especially on which zone to produce the next Senate President.
He said it was regrettable that some APC members had depended solely on religious balancing in producing the next Senate President without recourse to competence, credibility, and capacity.
He said some members-elect believed that since the President-elect and the Vice-President were Muslims by faith, the 10th Senate President must be a Christian.
“We strongly disagree with that school of thought because in the recent past when Dr Goodluck Jonathan was the President.
“The Senate President, Sen. David Mark, his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Patricia Etteh, Secretary to the government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, were all Christian by faith.
“Yet no Muslim complained because governance differs from religion.
“Today in Nigeria’s history, we face the hard reality of how to build a nation free of terrorism, poverty, banditry, unknown gunmen and a host of other disasters while we confront climate change,’’ Gbaja said.
He stressed that Nigeria currently required a tested and trusted leader, with proven track records of good governance who would complement the executive as the 10th Senate President.
He said the coalition had been in search for a senator-elect devoid of ethnicity, religion, and tribal sentiment, an individual who was ready to serve the country.
He added that such an individual must put the benefit of the people above his personal interest, as well nation building as his priority.
Gbaja said the coalition saw these qualities in Sen. Abdulaziz Yari, a former two-term governor of Zamfara and a frontline Senate President aspirant.
He said that the coalition was therefore endorsing Yari because of his good conscience, saying that his development expertise was beyond comparison.
He further added that Yari had distinguished himself over the years as a unifier who believed in the country’s unity and development.