A month and half to the elections, members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are striving to perfect their zoning arrangements for some key positions in expected next government.
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The presidential and National Assembly elections hold on February 16, while the governorship and state Houses of Assembly polls come up two weeks after, on March 2.
Newsmen gathered that members of the APC and PDP are pushing for some offices to be zoned, so that each geopolitical zones in the country would know what to benefit from the incoming Federal Government from May 29, 2019.
Sources revealed that with the presidential and vice presidential candidates of the APC and the PDP already known, as well as the national chairmen of the parties, members want to know where the Senate president, deputy Senate president, Speaker of the House of Representatives, deputy Speaker and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) would come from.
Already in APC, the North West has got presidential candidate in President Muhammadu Buhari from Katsina State. The South West has vice presidential candidate, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, from Ogun State and South South, national chairman in the person of Adams Oshiomhole from Edo State.
In PDP, the North East has produced presidential candidate with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar from Adamawa State. South East got vice presidential candidate in the person of former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, while the South South occupies the position of national chairman with Prince Uche Secondus from Rivers State.
Sources revealed that APC members are rooting for the North Central or the South East to produce the Senate president, while the SGF be zoned to the North East, as present.
It was gathered that the fate of the South East, with regards to Senate presidency in APC depends on the zone producing senators in the elections. This, sources revealed, is why the North Central is also penciled down for the position, also, depending on whether senators would come form the zone.
In the PDP, sources revealed that the consideration is the zoning of the Senate president to North Central, which was part of the concession given to current occupier of the position, Senator Bukola Saraki. The post of SGF is being considered for the South West.
Newsmen gathered that for the Speaker, House of Representatives, the APC is looking at conceding it to South South, while deputy speaker will go to North East. Also, the party is considering zoning deputy Senate president to South West.
In PDP, Speaker, House of Representatives is being considered for North West, while deputy speaker is penciled down for South West. Deputy Senate president is for South South.
Sources close to APC and PDP said the parties are planning to zone the offices in such a way to give all the geopolitical zones a sense of belonging.
It was gathered that the parties also want to use the zoning arrangement to woo the respective zones in the coming elections.
Since the coming of the current democratic dispensation, zoning of offices has been adopted by the parties. In 1999, the PDP zoned the office of president to South West, while vice president was zone to North East. South East occupied Senate president’s office, with North Central getting deputy Senate president. Speaker of the House of Representatives was zoned to North West and Deputy Speaker to South South.
In 2003, South West produced president, with North East still producing vice president. South East produced Senate president, while North West got Speaker House of Representatives.
In 2007, the North West produced the president, with South South getting vice president. North Central produced Senate president and South East deputy Senate president. Speaker of the House of Representatives was zoned to South West.
In 2015, South South produced the president, with North West getting vice president. North Central produced Senate president and South East deputy Senate president. North West got speaker, House of Representatives by default, with South East producing deputy Speaker also by default.
In the current government, North West has president, with South West producing vice president. North Central is occupying the position of Senate president, by default, with South East getting deputy Senate president, also, by default. North West is occupying the post of Speaker, House of Representatives, also, by default.