There are indications that the All Progressives Congress (APC), and the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, may opt for a consensus Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives for the 10th National Assembly.

SPY NIGERIA learned that this was part of the resolutions made at a stakeholders’ meeting held on Wednesday at the Defence House in Abuja on the zoning of the National Assembly principal offices.

Present at the meeting were Tinubu, Vice-President-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima; Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; and Governor Abdulrasaq Abdulrahman of Kwara State.

Others were the National Chairman of the ruling APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu; the Deputy National Chairman (North) Senator Abubakar Kyari; the Deputy National Chairman (South), Chief Emma Eneukwu; the National Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore; and Kaduna House of Assembly Speaker, Yusuf Zailani.

In a chat with The Nation, a party source privy to the meeting said consensus was proposed to avoid a rancorous contest and ensure unity and cohesion.

The source said the party leaders at the meeting were on the same page on the choice of the next chairman and deputy chairman of the National Assembly by consensus.

He said: “Consensus is being proposed to ensure that the contest is not acrimonious. APC does not want a situation where the race will lead to crisis.”

The source also disclosed that the party leaders, in utter sensitivity to religious factors, were disposed to the choice of a Christian Senate President, since the President-elect and his deputy, Senatorial Kashim Shettima, are Muslims.

He said the APC leaders were disposed to the equitable distribution of the six principal offices in the Red and Green Chambers among the six geo-political zones to foster inclusion and a sense of belonging.

Apart from the Senate President and House Speaker, other offices are Deputy Senate President, Deputy Speaker, Senate Majority Leader, House Majority Leader, Chief Whips, and Deputy Chief Whips.

The source said: “The party noted the ambition of its senators and House members and contented that it is in order. The zoning of the Senate President was considered and there was the feeling that since the number one and two citizens are Muslims, the number three citizen should be a Christian.”

He stated that the party leaders also decided that there is no zone that will be left out in the distribution of the principal offices, adding that the majority is in favour of the South-South producing the Senate President.

The source pointed out that the party noted that it has seven senators from the region, apart from securing substantial votes during the election.

However, the source also stressed that there was also a strong case for Southeast, which produced six APC senators.

He added: “It was a lengthy deliberation. Party leaders favoured the zoning of the House Speaker to the Northwest, which gave the ruling party the highest number of votes during the elections.

“There was also a consideration for the zoning of the Deputy Senate President to the Northcentral and the Deputy House Speaker to the South East. The belief of the party is that no zone should be left out.”