By Abubakar Yunusa, Abuja
The forum of former National Assembly members South-South has commended the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership for zoning the office of the Senate president to the region.
The caucus urged the APC to sustain the zoning by ensuring it is actualised.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday, a member of the forum, Hon John Halims Agoda said the leadership of the APC have done the right thing, urging them to sustain the zoning formula.
He noted that the leadership of the Party recently clarified that her earlier zoning of respective offices to geo-political zones and individuals will be reviewed subject to a wider consultation.
According to him, “As former members of the National Assembly, we believe and demand that all persons elected as principal officers of the 10th National Assembly should be above board and people of integrity and without blemish.
While citing the Senate rules, the group said order 3 rule for the avoidance of doubt, said: “A Senator-elect when nominated and seconded shall inform the Senate whether he or she accepts the nomination. He/She may then proceed to address the Senate.
“A Senator-elect, addressing the Clerk, shall propose another Senator-elect to the Senate to be President of the Senate and shall move that such Senator-elect “Do take the Chair of the Senate as President of the Senate.” Another Senator-elect shall second the nomination.
“In compliance with this Constitutional position, the country’s ethno-religious, cultural, and regional diversity and balance must be considered.
Speaking further, Agoda explained that the clarification by the APC has brought relief and succour to the people of the South-South Zone as it has opened the democratic space for the APC senators-elected from the Zone (seven number) who may wish to exercise their rights to contest for the Office of the Senate President, to do so without encumbrances.
“We reiterate our gratitude and support for the decision of the President-Elect, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and APC National leadership in zoning the Senate Presidency to the South-South.
“We also commend the people of the South-South geo-political Zone for electing more National Assembly Members on the platform of the APC and the people of Cross River State for electing a member of this Forum, His Excellency Senator Bassey Otu as Governor of the State.”
The Forum, however, noted that unlike the House of Representatives where only ranking members can aspire to the position of Speakership and Deputy Speakership positions, all Senators-elect are qualified to contest for the offices of Senate President and Deputy Senate President.