I am most qualified for senate presidency – Akume

Senator George Akume
Senator George Akume
The Senate Minority Leader, Senator George Akume, on Friday said that he was the most qualified candidate for the position of the Senate presidency.
Akume, who represents the people of Benue North-West under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.
Akume said that going by the presidential system of government which Nigeria practices, the minority leader should automatically takeover the leadership if his party man emerges as president.
“We are practicing the presidential system of government and in that system, the path of succession to leadership in the legislature is clearly established; as minority leader, automatically I should have become the president.
“I got into the senate after eight years as the governor of Benue state.
“During my stay here, I moved from the PDP which I co-formed to the ACN and eventually I became the minority leader of APC after the merger and from that vantage position I became the chairman of the minority caucus.
“I believe that given my track records and the fact that I have been leading the caucus in the senate, I should be considered the most worthy man to preside over the affairs of the 8th Senate.
“For anybody to say that I should withdrew is purely in the imagination of a few, I do not have any skeletons in my cupboard,” he said.
This is exemplified recently, in the U.S. whose democracy we copied, where the minority leader automatically rose to become speaker. That is the way things are done.
On the lingering issue of zoning, Akume said that zoning was a deliberate attempt to ensure inclusion in the politics of Nigeria.
He said that Nigeria was very complex in its structures and diversity and such complexities must be appropriately handled for unity.
“Today, people may want to overlook and override the importance of zoning but strategic positions should be zoned and rotated.
“Zoning is part and parcel of the politics of Nigeria, even if zoning is not expressly stated in our constitution, there must be fairness and balance in the occupation of strategic position.
“This has also given us stability in the last 16 years; we should not throw away zoning, it is acceptable to me.
“I have not heard from the party that they have jettisoned zoning, I am a faithful party man,” he said.
He dismissed the reservation in some quarters about him emerging since his would-be predecessor, Sen. David Mark, was from the same region and state, adding it would not be new to the nation’s legislature.
He cited that the North has produced three presidents so far in the persons of Shehu Shagari, Shehu Musa Ya’Adua and now President-elect Muhammadu Buhari.
“You will want to find out why Hon. Salisu Buhari was speaker from Kano (North-West), after him Ghali Na’abba from Kano (North-West) then Aminu Masari from Katsina (North-West).
“So, you can see that precedence has already been established, Benue (North Central) will not be breaking new grounds.
“The North is not complaining, if you look at the leadership of the north they are not complaining, all they are saying is that it is wonderful for the unity of the North.
“They are saying that we should look beyond 2015 to 2019, they are not opposed to the issue of the Senate Presidency coming to the North-Central,” he said.
Akume clarified that contrary to purported rumours, he does not have any disagreements with Bola Tinubu or any other leader of the APC as being rumoured in the social media.

Culled from PMNEWS

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