The Pan Niger Delta Forum has joined the call for the zoning of the 10th National Assembly Senate presidency to the South-South.
The group in a statement on Tuesday urged the ruling All Progressives Congress to zone the Senate presidency to the South-South for the sake of justice and equity.
The statement which was signed by the National Publicity Secretary, PANDEF, Ken Robinson, further argued that the last time someone from the South-South region occupied the Office of Senate President was during the 2nd Republic (1979/1983), when the late Senator Joseph Wayas, from Cross River State, was elected, first in October 1979, and, again, in October 1983, before that Republic was truncated on 31st December 1983.
The statement reads in part, “Ostensibly, the South-South Zone has an unassailable reason to step up to the Senate Presidency, after twenty-four years of our current Democratic experience. No contrary arguments can stand against this South-South position.
“PANDEF, therefore, implores the President-elect, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, along with other key stakeholders of the APC, and, indeed, all Senators-elect of all parties, and the party hierarchies, to support the ceding of the incoming Senate Presidency to the South-South zone.
“This is, unarguably, the fair and proper thing to do, at this time of our country’s political progression.
“Whilst agreeing, in parts, with the positions postulated by the Progressive Governors Forum, and sundry individuals, on the subject, PANDEF is disturbed by some of the names reported in the media, to have indicated an interest in the Senate Presidency, in particular.
“The All Progressives Congress, having upheld the principle of rotation of key political offices between the North and the South, in respect of the Presidency of the Federation, is expected to maintain the same modus for the other major elective political offices viz: the Senate Presidency, Speakership of the House of Representatives, and their Deputies.
“Surely, the Leadership of APC, cannot be entirely unmindful of the fact that a Muslim Senate Presidency would bring further imperilment to National order, affecting the sorely desired overall stability. A wrong move on this score can only represent a step too far.
“PANDEF, as a body of patriots and proven committed stakeholders, in the Nigerian Project, is compelled to issue this timely advice, in the national interest.
“Thus, urges politicians to draw lessons from recent happenings in the polity, and demonstrate grander statesmanship, and patriotism, in designing the Leadership of the upcoming 10th National Assembly; while cautioning that obsessive political characters should not be allowed to blur this all-important issue with the usual ignoble hoarse recourse to “internal affair” status.
“That would be most unfortunate and of no profit to any demographics in the Nigerian project.