A pro-democracy group, the Quintessential Professionals in Politics, has appealed aspirants seeking to become the Senate President from the northern part of Nigeria to follow the good example of the Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, Sani Musa, by supporting the All Progressives Congress zoning arrangements in the interest of peace, fairness and justice.
The National Chairman of TQPIP, Dr. Ibrahim Abubakar, made the appeal in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Sunday.
Abubakar admitted that the election of National Assembly presiding officers is basically anchored on ranking, competence, character and experience but also stressed the need to consider ethnic and religious sentiments in the whole process.
According to him, there were news reports that except there was an urgent intervention by the APC leadership, some desperate aspirants from the North might frustrate the ruling party’s zoning arrangements for the leadership positions in the National Assembly.
Part of the statement reads, “Already, Senators Barau Jibrin (North West), Abdulaziz Yari (North West), Ali Ndume (North East) have categorically stated that ethnic or religious considerations do not matter when talking about the National Assembly leadership positions.
“Some of them had also threatened to go against the wish of the party by contesting the position whether the APC leadership zone the position or not.
“We consider the position of these aspirants as an aberration because of the need to ensure that all parts of the country are carried along in the current move by the incoming administration of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to reconcile all the aggrieved people of the country after the just concluded Presidential Election.
“They should emulate Senator Sani Musa, who had already expressed his willingness to sacrifice his ambition in the interest of unity and peaceful coexistence of Nigeria.
“Musa had also said the only condition that could make him to consider the position of the Deputy Senate President is if a competent Christian aspirant who is running for the office of Senate President convince him to step down, with genuine reasons.
“The Senator sees Nigeria as a secular nation and had stressed the need to ensure balance between the two main religion in the country.
“Musa had told the whole World that the tension that heralded the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate and his running mate, should be avoided in the race for the Senate Presidency.
“He had also said that for the exigencies of our time, looking at the volatile situation of what has generated the Muslim-Muslim ticket in this country, he was one person that believes in the secularity of one Nigeria.
“The Niger East Senator had said he believes that, for every reason, there should be give and take in this country.
“Musa had said that he was ready to step down for a qualified, competent personality like him in the Senate who has also presented himself for the office of the Senate President and asked him to drop his ambition for him.
“According to him, there is a position of Deputy Senate President, which also is a presiding officer in the National Assembly.
“He had said he would be willing to do it if it’s going to be in the best interest of Nigerians and if it’s going to be in the best interest of the zone he was going to represent as a presiding officer.
“He had also said that there was no commitment or sacrifice too much to make to keep the unity Nigeria deserved,” the statement added.