Ex-Military Leaders, Monarchs Intervene As Crisis Rise In NASS Leadership Race

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A leadership crisis is intensifying within the 10th National Assembly, which is yet to be inaugurated.

According to Sunday Sun, prominent elder statesmen from the North and leading traditional rulers from the North and Southwest have stepped in to quell the discord among legislators and counteract further national polarization along ethnic and religious lines.

The power struggle has split loyalties between incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, fragmenting the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) into legacy camps.

A silent war has reportedly been simmering between the two factions since the decision to allocate the Senate Presidency to Senator Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State.

This has strained relations among legislators from the country’s six geo-political zones, exacerbating divisions based on ethnicity and religion among the senators-elect and representatives.

The discord is now spreading nationwide, causing increased friction among Nigerians.

Concerned by this development, northern statesmen, including two former military heads of state, and some top-tier traditional rulers from the North and Southwest, have reportedly intervened.

They have engaged in dialogue with high-ranking and influential senators to alleviate tensions and allow the country to progress.

Three contenders for the Senate presidency hail from the North: Abubakar Yari, Jibrin Barau, and Sani Musa, while the South has Osita Izunaso, Orji Uzor Kalu, and Godswill Akpabio.

There are also unconfirmed reports that a former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomole, may join the race.

A Senator-elect, privy to these discussions with the Sun revealed that the elder statesmen have urged key senators, especially those from the North, to prioritize Nigeria’s unity and national cohesion over personal ambitions in the forthcoming Assembly leadership election.

In discussions with senators, the statesmen implored them not to use their numerical advantage to dominate the Senate in the leadership contest.

“They appealed to us to emulate the APC governors from Northern Nigeria who in the most patriotic manner gave all their support to the emergence of a Southern candidate for the party and did all within their powers for the victory of Bola Tinubu from the Southwest at the polls,” the source said.

He confirmed that Northern Senators were not initially against the South producing the Senate president, but were upset about the President-elect’s unilateral support for Senator Akpabio.

“But with the seriousness of the moves by these patriotic and highly respected statesmen and the esteemed traditional rulers, I see the major contender from the North, H.E Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari dropping the gauntlet and supporting a credible, vibrant and unblemished aspirant from the South,” he said.

However, the choice of Senator Akpabio, who has a number of corruption allegations against him, is seen as a threat to the achievements of the eight years of President Buhari on corruption.

The Northern Senators also fear that an Akpabio-led Senate would not protect the interests of the North.

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