After a series of preparatory meetings ahead of its assumption of control on May 29, the incoming ruling party, All Progressives Congress, has drawn up a zoning arrangement for key federal legislative and executive positions.
Barring any last minute changes, a document ratified by the APC national leadership and national caucus members Thursday night may form the basis for the allocation of executive positions and emergence of principal officers of the National Assembly from across the six geopolitical zones. The document, which was obtained by THISDAY, shows that the office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation is zoned to the South-east. The incumbent SGF, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, a former senate president, is from Ebonyi State in the South-east.
The zoning to South-east puts paid to speculations that the director-general of the APC presidential campaign organisation and Rivers State governor, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, may become the next SGF. It also ends the alleged spirited effort by some APC governors from the North-east to produce the new SGF, with the current Secretary to the State Government of Borno, Ambassador Ahmed Baba Jida, widely suspected to be the choice of the governors.
In other positions, the post of Senate President is zoned to North-central, the same zone of the outgoing holder of the position, David Mark, who is from Benue State. Speaker of the House of Representatives is given to South-west, where the vice president-elect, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, hails from. Osinbajo is from Ogun State.
APC zoned the office of Deputy Senate President to North-east and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives to the South-south. Chief Whip of the Senate is zoned to North-west, where the Katsina State-born president-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, comes from, while North-central gets the office of Chief Whip of the House of Representatives.
The post of Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives is zoned to South-east. There are only two members of the House elected on the platform of APC from the zone in the March 28 election. They are Hon. Austin Chukwukere from Ideato North and South Federal Constituency and Chike Okafor from Ehime Mbano, Ihite Uboma and Obowo Federal Constituency of Imo State.
The position of Majority Leader of the Senate is zoned to South-west, while Majority Leader of the House of Representatives goes to North-east. Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate is zoned to North-west, and Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives goes to North-central.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees of APC is zoned to North-east, with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar widely expected to clinch the post. South-east is given secretary of the BoT.
The posts of national chairman and national secretary of APC remain in the South-south and North-east, respectively. Chief John Odigie-Oyegun from Edo State is national chairman and Alhaji Maimala Buni from Yobe State is the national secretary.
Seven senators from three zones have signified their intentions to contest the senate president slot. They are Senators Bukola Saraki, a former Kwara State governor (Kwara Central); George Akume, Senate Minority Leader (Benue North-west); Olusola Adeyeye, a vocal senator and professor of Molecular Biology (Osun Central), Danjuma Goje, a former Gombe State governor (Gombe Central); Ahmad Lawan, a former university don (Yobe North); Ali Ndume, a former House of Representatives Minority Leader (Borno South); and a former House of Representatives Deputy Speaker, Usman Nafada (Gombe North).
With the zoning of the slot to North-central, the contest will now be between Saraki and Akume.
In the House of Representatives, there are currently eight contestant for the office of speaker. They are APC caucus leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (Lagos); Chairman House committee on House Services, Hon. Yakubu Dogara (Bauchi State); Chairman House Committee on Finance, Hon. AbdulMumin Jubril(Kano)