‘Zone with two senators can’t produce Deputy Senate President’

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As the battle for the leadership of the National Assembly hots up ahead of the June 11 inauguration date, the senator representing Kano South, Kabiru Gaya, has said a zone which produced only two senators cannot produce the Deputy Senate President ahead of the zone with 17 senators.

The former Kano State governor, who addressed reporters in Abuja, the nation’s capital, said the Northwest with 17 senators gave the party about 6 million votes, which cannot be easily wished away.

According to him, with the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives going to the SouthWest, which already has the Vice-President, there is nothing wrong in giving the Deputy Senate President to the Northwest, which has the President.

He argued that giving the Deputy Senate President to the Northwest would be among the ways to consolidate the party in the zone.

The senator said the Southsouth and the Southeast would be accommodated to get other leadership positions.

Gaya, who is vying for the Deputy Senate President, said: “My reasons for saying nobody should produce the Deputy Senate President other than the Northwest is because we produced 6 million votes. In this kind of politics, you don’t throw away where you are strong.

“You will have to consolidate the party because this last election was made possible because of Buhari and Kano factors. What we are saying is that because of that, Kano alone had 1.4 million and we have 6 million registered voters.

“So, what we are saying is that if we could give the Speaker to the Southwest, I can see no reason why we can’t get Deputy Senate President in the North. If we are saying we have the President, fine; the South has the Vice-President. I believe it is better we consolidate on our positions now. Then, that will attract even the other two zones to also work hard for the APC because I know that President Buhari did a lot in all these states.”

On how other zones should be accommodated in the principal offices of ninth Senate, Gaya, who is returning to the Senate for the fourth time, said: “You know we need the Southeast; we need the Southsouth and the remaining four zones.

“You see there are other positions, like Senate Leader, which is also a very important position. We have the Chief Whip, which is also important because, if you give all other zones positions and you deny the Northwest, which has the highest number of votes – 6 million – that would not be good. What it means is that you want to throw away 6 million votes.

“I’m saying we need the Southeast; we need the Southsouth. But you cannot throw away where you have 20 senators. Though with the present record, we now have 17, which is unfortunate, but you cannot give Deputy Senate President to where you have only two senators.”

While saying he does not believe in dropping statistics of senators behind his ambition, Gaya expressed confidence that he has over 70 per cent chances of becoming the Deputy Senate President.

Other aspirants for the position of the Deputy Senate President are: former Abia State governor and senator-elect, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, from Delta State.

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