Senator-elect Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara West thinks it would be unjust to the northern half of the country if the leaders of the three branches of government were from the south.
Yari was interviewed by Arise TV on Tuesday.
The former Zamfara governor, who declared his candidacy for Senate President last month, has been one of the most vocal opponents of the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s zoning arrangement for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly.
Godswill Akpabio and Jibrin Barau were nominated by the ruling party as Senate President and Deputy Senate President, respectively.
Yari was one of the senators-elect who provided the APC leadership with a “protest letter” regarding the zoning methodology.
In response to his objection to the party’s stance, Yari stated that the decision would imply that the leaders of all three branches of the upcoming government will be from the south.
The president-elect, Bola Tinubu, is from Lagos; the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), Olukayode Ariwoola, is from Oyo; and Akpabio is from Akwa Ibom.
According to Yari, the APC’s zoning scheme for legislature leadership was not the result of increased engagement and respect for the federal character.
“Right from the beginning, the party has a tradition of widening the consultation: meeting with the president and all the members of the national assembly; because it is not the party’s business but that of the country,” the senator-elect said.
“But the party did not do any of the above, and what we saw in the media was that they had two meetings, and we were given names to adopt. That is not adequate enough. Because all of them are just advisory bodies, the constitution gives the right to choose national assembly leaders to only the parliamentarians. The party can zone, but it is left for the individual to accept or reject.
“APC has zoned and now we are asking them questions: On what basis? Have you taken into cognizance the federal character? The president, chief justice of the federation, and national assembly chairman –all the three arms of government — are in one place? The chief justice is from Oyo state, Tinubu is from Lagos state, and Akpabio is from Akwa Ibom, all at the same time. And the next chief justice is also going to be from the southwest.”
Yari went on to say that the southern region of Nigeria will rule all three branches of government, describing the situation as unbalanced.
If Akpabio is elected Senate President, he will not be the first regional leader to oversee all branches of government.
Between 2019 and June 2022, three northerners governed the three branches of government: President Muhammadu Buhari (Katsina), Senate President Ahmad Lawan (Yobe), and Muhammad Tanko, former Chief Justice of Nigeria (Bauchi).