Abdul’Aziz Yari, a former governor of Zamfara State and a senator-elect, encouraged the ruling All Progressives Congress on Sunday evening in Abuja to “reward performance” and disregard race or religion when allocating crucial positions in the 10th National Assembly.
“I’m advising the party, that they should reward performance, not religion, because religion is not in the Constitution of Nigeria, and it is not in our manifesto and our constitution,” Yari said shortly after an audience with the President Muhammadu Buhari, at his officially residence at the State House, Abuja.
Yari, who is one of the new senators-elect vying for the Senate Presidency, argued that the North, being the highest contributor of votes to ensure the victory of the All Progressives Congress in the February 25 presidential elections, should be offered the opportunity to produce the next Senate helmsman.
“Everyone knows the role that we played, despite the fact that other people are thinking we have our own. But we voted on the party line, which gave the APC the leeway to grab the presidency again.
“Therefore, we’re saying the party should do the right thing. And those that are going around saying ‘Muslim-Christian,’ should be very careful. Our education in politics is more than that now.
“They should not overheat the polity of the party with religion. If the APC goes with religion, people in northern Nigeria that did the real voting, they’ll be annoyed and they will lose hope and confidence in the APC. And that’s the truth of the matter,” he said.
Yari added that the APC must exercise caution in its next course of action as the party no longer has the numbers it used to have in the past.
He said, “The 10th assembly is a completely different Assembly from the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth. Usually, any party that has majority has the majority with two-thirds most of the time, but our own case is completely different. Why? Because in the House of Representatives, I told him (the President) that the minority are having the higher number there, they have 182. While our party has 178. In the Senate where we used to have like 65, 70, we now have 59 and the opposition has 50.
“In taking decision of the party, they have to put these into consideration and look at how it’s going to be done. Because in the end of the whole exercise, whatever happens, we believe strongly that election must hold in both chambers.”