… demands new zoning arrangement
In spite of the consensus meeting which settled for Godswill Akpabio as the consensus ‘candidate’ of the the All Progressives Congress as Senate President, a former chairman of the Senate Committee on Gas and Housing, Senator Osita Izunaso, on Wednesday, insisted that he still very much aspires to lead the Senate of the 10th National Assembly in the best interest of the nation.
While stating that he is in the race to win the seat of the Senate President and give the National Assembly “a clean and fresh breadth”, Izunaso expressed the optimism that he would eventually triumph at the election and make the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Senators, members of the House of Representatives and the entire nation proud of an Assembly administered by competence, experience, capacity and integrity, comparable, if not better than any in the advanced world.
A statement from his media office signed by Kehinde Olaosebikan, quoted Izunaso as saying he is the highest ranking Senator from the South-south and South-east with a robust and outstanding legislative and National Assembly experience spanning from 1992 when he served as the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of House of Representatives to 1999 when he was appointed as the Chief Press Secretary to the President of the Senate.
He therefore called on the leaders of the APC to douse the tension generated by the controversial zoning formula already heating the political atmosphere of the country by coming up with a zoning arrangement that would guarantee unity and national cohesion.
According to him, Tinubu, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), and the APC hierarchy under the chairmanship of Senator Adamu Abdulahi, should as matter of importance, “come up with a new zoning arrangement” that would not only produce the best among the Senators and House of Representatives members-elect as their presiding officers, but be seen by Nigerians and the world at large as meeting the best practices in legislative norms and satisfying the political exigencies of the country.
Izunaso, representing Imo West added that the expectations of Nigerians and the entire world were high on the incoming administration, as such, no efforts should be spared by the present political leaders of the country in meeting the yearnings of the people.
The senator who is also a journalist-cum lawyer said he agreed with the position of the National Working Committee on the need for “further and better consultations” by all the necessary stakeholders of the party in reaching a workable zoning formula for the principal offices of the National Assembly.
The APC-NWC had on Tuesday, “noted with respect the outcome of the meetings held between the President-elect and the leadership of the NWC and called for further and better consultation with necessary stakeholders in order to assure the support of the aspirants to the National Assembly leadership positions and members of the party nationwide.”
Izunaso said further that the expectant ascendance of Tinubu to the Presidency of the most populous black nation in the world has already raised the hope of a better and greater Nigeria in all aspects, particularly in the enhancement of democracy and good governance, across the globe.
According to him, the outcry, protests and gang-ups which erupted following the informal and formal announcement of the provocative formula showed that the arrangements were not satisfactory to the overwhelming majority of the newly elected legislators and Nigerians generally, stressing that it should therefore be discarded without any further delay.
The NASS lawmaker insisted that what the country needs is a brand new Assembly chaired by a competent, capable and experienced man of proven integrity, without any blemish whatsoever.
Izunaso said in 2003, he was elected into the House of Representatives at the expiration of which he became a Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District.
He remarked, “In all of these periods, I was one of the most outstanding committee Chairmen in both the Green and Red chambers. As a consummate party man, I joined the nation’s best of eggheads like Babatunde Raji Fashola, and our erudite Baba, Chief Bisi Akande in the formation of the APC in 2014. After the birth of the party, I served meritoriously as the National Organising Secretary of the party.
“It would also interest you to know that during the five years of my tenure as the National Organising Secretary of APC, there was no single litigation over our congresses both for party primaries and party executives. I was fair, just, adroit and meticulous in all my activities.
“Looking for a complete and loyal party man, I am the best. If competence, as in what our father, the President-elect desires in his planned Government of National Competence is the criterion, I am not just the most competent, I am the most capable, creative and organised senator among the contestants.
“If you want to go with the mood of the nation, requiring a government of National Unity, I am an Igbo man from South-east, the most marginalised zone in Nigeria, I am the most qualified,” he pointed out.
Izunaso noted further, “Equally, if you want to go with the ‘Not-Too-Young Act’, one of the greatest achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime, I am the youngest of all the aspirants, the face of the youths, representing the most agitated demography in the country today. It is me. I am indeed the best and the next person for Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, ‘Emi Lokan!’
“I am the person that can give the Senate a clean and fresh image needed to give us a new Nigeria promised Nigerians by the greatest democrat of our time, the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. I am the best and most suitable for the Senate President of the 10th National Assembly,” he canvassed.