Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, has advised hopefuls vying for leadership positions in the 10th assembly to respect the zoning formulas of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Speaking on Saturday in Kaduna, Wike asked the hopefuls to consider national interest above their ambitions and submit to the leadership of the party.
The APC had nominated Tajudeen Abbas, a member of the house of representatives, and Godswill Akpabio, a former minister of Niger Delta affairs, as candidates for the speaker and president of the senate.
The ruling party also picked Barau Jibrin, senator representing Kano north, as deputy senate president, and Benjamin Kalu, current house spokesperson, as deputy speaker.
Nevertheless, some party stakeholders and aspirants in the national assembly leadership race have protested against the selection of the four candidates.
Wike urged the aspirants to accept the party’s zoning decision and withdraw from the race.
“No president can do very well if he does not have that leadership that will corporate with him,” he said.
Wike said President Muhammadu Buhari’s performance in the first term was affected by the tussle between the leadership of the national assembly and the administration.
Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara served as senate president and speaker of the house of representatives from 2015 to 2019. They defied the party’s zoning arrangement at the time to emerge as presiding officers of the national assembly.
“You remember what happened in 2015 — that affected the performance of the present administration,” Wike said.
“I think for the interest of Nigeria, let them respect the leadership of their party and the president to move the country forward.”
Wike also said he believes President-elect Bola Tinubu will set up the “best team” to get the country running after he takes the oath of office on May 29.
“I believe that he means well for this country. I have that belief that he is ready for the job,” Wike said.