By Sueiman Abdullahi Suleiman
The Nigerian Senate is the upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly, and its President and Deputy President are important positions that play a crucial role in the legislative process.
In the 10th National Assembly, there are two main candidates vying for the positions of Senate President and Deputy Senate President: Ahmad Godswill Akpabio, and Abdulaziz who is a first timer at the Senate.
However, in this article, we will focus on why Abdulaziz Yari and Orji Uzo Kalu are the best choices for the positions of Senate President and Deputy Senate President, respectively.
Many important stakeholders of the APC and aspirants to the National Assembly positions appear to have been brushed aside because of the insistence of the party to support particular names instead of allowing the zones to make further consultations as to who should be presented for final voting by the National Assembly members.
In the case of the Senate Presidency position, there is a serious feeling of marginalization of the Northwest at the national assembly despite given the highest vote to the president elect; the southeast also who have been marginalized from leadership, that leads to the agitation of Biafra would have been a best option to reconsider its stands and allow free process to make the leadership of both house.
More importantly, there is a strong groundswell of opinion that the Nigerian people are eager to have an independent parliament-one that will not be at the beck and call of the Presidency.
Which was the reasons why Yari and Kalu are the best choices for the positions of Senate President and Deputy Senate President is because of their wide support and popularity among their colleagues in the National Assembly, and their respective regions. Both senators are well-respected within the APC and have garnered support from members across party lines.
Even when viewed more critically, the South East has shown greater tendency in embracing the APC than the South-South zone. Two of the Governors in the Zone are in APC, while Orji Uzo Kalu who is an Igbo from Abia state, is a strong and prominent figure from the region which cannot be said of the South-South.
This is a crucial factor in determining who becomes Senate President and Deputy Senate President, as the positions require the support of a majority of the senators.
Many Nigerians believe that qualitative separation of powers will put the Executive Arm on its toes and compels it to serve the interests of the people positively. What is needed is a robust legislative engagement that works for all groups and tendencies within the polity.
Related to the above vision of qualitative governance based on legislative autonomy is the need for a balanced power-sharing framework, rooted in social justice and equity-which constitute the intricate forms of democratic balancing needed for national stability.
Another reason why Yari and Kalu are the best choices is because of their strong and prominent personalities, and believe in the Legislature’s independence. Both senators have demonstrated their ability to lead and have shown a commitment to the welfare of their constituents.
They have also been involved in legislative efforts aimed at promoting good governance and improving the lives of Nigerians.
In contrast, Godswill Akpabio and Barau Jibrin, the other candidates for the positions, lack the wide support and prominent personalities that Yari and Kalu possess.
Sad to note is how Godswill Akpabio and Barau Jibrin, the APC anointed candidates for Senate President and Deputy Senate President, respectively, embarked on using religion and the Presidency to sway support in their favour.
Despite this, Abdulaziz Yari and Orji Uzor Kalu, have been pushing back against their opponents’ strategy. Yari, who has been emphasizing his experience and track record in governance, arguing that he is the best candidate to lead the Senate.
While Kalu has been highlighting his contributions to the party and his commitment to the Nigerian people, positioning himself as a unifying force within the party.
Brushing aside the Igbo Question and continuing with new forms of marginalization against Ndigbo can only agrivaitae the problem. But with Abdulaziz Yari and Orji Uzo Kalu as his deputy, the aggitation will be crushed and bring an end to the menace the southestaern states are suffrening in the hands o the separatiest.
So also Abdulazizi Yari was much disturbed by the mere happenings, which serves as an obstalce for his vision andn agitation for one Nigeria, that led to his choice of Orji Uzo Kalu as his Deputy, a perfect combination fro the 10th assembly.
A more creative political class would have shown serious concern and taken steps to douse the tension generated by the mythical charter of ethnic prejudice against the Igbo instead of adding fuel to an already burning inferno.
The struggle for the Senate and Deputy Senate President positions has far-reaching implications for the Nigerian polity.
If Akpabio and Barau are successful in their bid for the positions, it could strengthen the influence of the APC and the Presidency in the Senate, potentially making it easier for the ruling party to push through its legislative agenda.
However, if Yari and Kalu emerge victorious, it could signal a shift in power dynamics within the party and the Senate, potentially leading to a more independent and assertive Senate.
The outcome of this race will have significant implications for the Nigerian polity, as it will determine the direction of the Senate and the balance of power within the ruling party. Ultimately, it will be up to the Senators to decide who is best suited to lead them and the Nigerian people forward.