Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-south have demanded the position of the Senate President.
They made the demand in a congratulatory message to President Muhammadu Buhari on his victory in the February 23 presidential election, Punch newspaper reports.
Although the president cannot singlehandedly determine who emerges as the Senate President, he can, however, influence his party which usually zones such plum positions. The party currently has over 60 senators-elect, a clear majority.
In a statement on Wednesday, the APC Vice-Chairman South-South, Ntufam Etta, said the zone deserved the position.
He said the leadership of the party in the zone “has done extreme hard work towards stabilising the polity to ensure that business thrives in the region, and also informing the youth that development can only thrive in an atmosphere of peace”.
Mr Etta also said the youth in the region have reciprocated “the good gesture of Mr Buhari” by embracing peace as a panacea.
“Gone are the days when youth restiveness will impede development.
“We recall that when our son, Senator Joseph Wayas, held sway as Senate President, he did our zone and the country very proud. During his tenure, we saw a harmonious working relationship between the executive, legislature and the judiciary; and the benefit at this was for all Nigerians.
“Therefore, a Senate President from the South-South zone will stabilise the polity, focus on its statutory role of making laws. Furthermore, a Senate President from the region will avoid unnecessary clashes with the executive as has been witnessed in the recent past,” part of the statement read.
He pledged that the zone will continue to play pivotal roles in order to help the country achieve and realise all its potential.
The current Senate President, Bukola Saraki, lost his bid for a second term in the office in the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections.
Mr Saraki of the Peoples Democratic Party lost to his major challenger, Ibrahim Oloriegbe of the ruling party by a wide margin.
He has since conceded defeat and congratulated the winners of the elections in his state.
Although, it is not clear how the next occupant of the position will be selected, the South-south caucus of the APC stands a chance of fielding the number three citizen seeing that the president is from the North and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo, is from the South-west.