Some All Progressives Congress senators-elect on Thursday cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the party against sitting on the fence on the issue of the principal officers of the National Assembly.
The APC has a majority of 65 senators in the ninth Senate compared to 37 Peoples Democratic Party’s members.
In the House of Representatives poll, the APC won 211 seats, while the PDP clinched 111 seats.
Although the APC leaders have yet to produce a zoning formula, it was gathered that senators-elect, who are interested in the Senate presidency and other positions have started lobbying their colleagues.
But the APC senators-elect, who spoke to PUNCH shortly after collecting their certificates of return, said the Presidency and the APC leaders should latest by next week come out with their position on zoning.
The incoming lawmakers specifically cautioned President Buhari and the APC leadership against working at cross-purposes to avoid another tussle that would alter the party’s zoning formula.
One of the senators-elect, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “Many of the ranking senators have started mobilising support for their ambition and there could be a crisis if the process is not well managed.
“I will want the leadership of our party to come up with the zoning formula latest by next week, since we are through with the elections. By so doing, they would have succeeded in giving a direction for everybody to follow.”
On his part, a senator-elect from Ekiti State, Adedayo Adeyeye, stressed the need for the national leadership of the party to provide the required direction for the ninth Senate.
Similarly, another senator-elect from Ekiti State, Bamidele Opeyemi (APC Ekiti Central), noted that the leadership configuration of the ninth Senate should be designed in a way that would avoid friction.
Opeyemi said, “The leadership configuration in the ninth Senate or whatever process that will be used by the Presidency and party leadership must be well managed to avoid any backlash.
“The calibre and character of personalities elected for the 9th Senate are very solid and promising for the country but leadership is key, the very reason the leadership of the ruling party must manage it well.
“Once this is done, the party and in particular, the National Assembly and the Presidency will be on the same page on development-driven bills sponsorship, policy formulations and approvals.”
The 8th Senate spokesperson, who also got re-elected from Niger State, Sabi Abdullahi, allayed the fears of Nigerians on possible leadership crisis in the ninth Senate as against the situation in the outgoing Senate.
He told journalists at the event that the required lessons to be learnt from the leadership squabbles of the 8th Senate had been learnt, hence there would not be a repeat of the ugly past.
Abdullahi said, “I was a key player in the leadership configuration of the 8th Senate and the attendant crises that followed , as one of the 43 returnees now, the lessons learnt will be used to prevent the mistakes of the past from happening.