Prompted by the All Progressives Congress, APC, zoning of the National Assembly principal offices, Senators from the North-West have started intra-party campaigns to clinch the Senate Leader slot assigned to the area.
APC won 60 seats to clinch majority in the 8th Senate, which will be inaugurated in the first week of June.
States leading in the struggle for the Senate Leader’s office are Kano and Zamfara.
By the party’s zoning arrangement, the Senate President is expected to either come from the North Central or the North-East while the North-West is expected to occupy the Senate Leader’s position.
Already, some ranking Senators in Kano and Zamfara have commenced campaigns for their colleagues to secure the office.
With the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari hailing from Katsina State, the North-West, Senate Caucus has settled for the Senate Leader’s position having produced the highest number of Senators.
The zone produced 20 Senators in the March 28 senatorial election.
Of the 20 Senators, eight are ranking as some have been elected to the chamber at least twice and others are coming from the House of Representatives where they are also considered ranking members of the chamber.
With new set of Senators from Jigawa, Kaduna and a sprinkling of new members from Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Kano and Zamfara states, ranking members from the zone are now divided over which state should produce the Senate Leader.
The five states of the North-West are Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara. They returned six ranking Senators, who are Senators Kabiru Gaya (Kano), Adamu Aliero (Kebbi, former FCT Minister), Abu Ibrahim (Katsina), Ahmed Ru’fai Sani (Zamfara), Kabir Marafa (Zamfara) and Ibrahim Gobir (Sokoto.)
Senators-elect Bala Ibn Na’Allah and Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano State Governor) also have ranking advantage, having been elected into the House of Representatives at different times.
But the ranking rule, which gives preference to Senators who have been elected more than once into the chamber, means that top contenders for the Senate Leader position are Senators Sani, Marafa, Gaya and Adamu Aliero.
Nigerian Pilot learnt that in addition to the ranking rule, having been elected into the Senate three times in a row, Senator Sani (popularly called Yerima), who is also a former two-term Zamfara State governor, has the most legislative experience from the zone.
Sani has been a principal officer since 2007. In his first term, he was elected Minority Whip and in 2011 became the Deputy Minority Leader.
The closest contender to Senator Sani is Senator Gaya who was a principal officer in 2007. He was Deputy Minority Whip.

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