ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – Ahead of the 10th National Assembly (NASS) inauguration, the President-elect, Bola Tinubu and leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), have begun to weigh their options for the best candidate.
Recall that the President-elect and the Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima, moved into the Defence House in Abuja on Wednesday, their official residence until swearing-in on 29 May.
At the Defence House, Tinubu hosted Senate President Ahmed Lawan, Deputy – Ovie Omo-Agege, House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamiala, Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) and Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa).
Others were Abdullahi Adamu (APC chairman), Iyiola Omisore (secretary), Senators Orji Kalu, Rochas Okorocha, Opeyemi Bamidele, Jibrin Barau; Hon. James Faleke, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin and Hon. Muktar Betara.
Lagos Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, former VP candidate placeholder Kabiru Masari, business mogul Aliko Dangote, Nuhu Ribadu (ex-EFCC chairman) also visited the residence.
Both at separate and joint meetings with party members present, Tinubu discussed the composition of the leadership of the 10th NASS as part of efforts to reach a possible consensus.
Nigeria’s 10th National Assembly is expected to start on June 13 tentatively, two weeks after the inauguration of Tinubu and Shettima at the Eagle Square.
The top four positions are expected to be shared among the four regions outside the South-West and North-East where Tinubu and Shettima hail from.
It was gathered that the Senate Presidency may go to the South-South (a Christian), while the Speakership may go to the North-West (a Muslim).
The North-Central is being considered for the Deputy Senate Presidency, while a South-Easterner may become the next Deputy Speaker.
Godswill Akpabio is vying for Senate Presidency though he faces opposition by those still angry about how he became the Minority Leader of the 8th Senate despite being a first timer.
Meanwhile, the Senate Chief Whip, Orji Kalu is also interested but there are factors against him. This is because his region produced the least votes for the APC and he initially wanted Lawan as the presidential candidate.
For Speakership on the other hand, though Betara is one of the contenders, the fact that he hails from the same region and state (Borno) as the VP-elect may rule him out.
Senators from Tinubu’s State, Lagos, are likely to get key offices: Opeyemi Bamidele (Senate Leader), Solomon Adeola (Appropriation committee), Tokunbo Abiru (Banking and Insurance committee).