The south-east region may not produce the deputy Senate president of the incoming 9th National Assembly.
The APC has ruled out the zone in its search for a new deputy Senate president and opted for the south-south to occupy the office.
APC may have for now ruled out the south-east for lack of a credible candidate for the position from the region.
A report by Leadership newspaper indicates that the south-east region may not produce the deputy Senate president of the incoming 9th National Assembly.
Sources within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) quoted in the report, said apart from the division in the south-east caucus of the National Assembly on the matter, the only senator-elect on the party’s platform from the zone eyeing the office was unfit for it.
Consequently, APC has ruled out the zone in its search for a new deputy Senate president and opted for the south-south to occupy the office.
The sources said that the decision was reached after the APC discovered that the only senator-elect on its platform from the south-east and former governor of Abia state, Dr Orji Uzor-Kalu, was not likely to sail through if the party offered the zone the job.
Uzor-Kalu still has a case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of alleged N7.6 billion fraud before the court which he allegedly committed when he was Abia state governor between 1999-2007.
It was also learnt that President Muhammadu Buhari directed the party leadership not to present any APC senator-elect facing criminal trial for any principal office of the National Assembly, automatically ruling Kalu out.
Kalu has repeatedly asked the APC to consider him for the office as the only APC senator-elect from the zone who has so far been issued with a certificate of return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
One of the sources alleged that APC may have for now ruled out the south-east for lack of a credible candidate for the position.
He said: “Zoning the position to south-east where it has only one senator-elect with corruption charges hanging on him may give the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) a possible opportunity again to grab the seat the second time.
“The party may have decided to zone the position to the south-south since the only APC senator-elect from the south-east is still standing trail over alleged N7.6 billion fraud and his election is also being challenged at the election petitions tribunal and so the party cannot take the risk of presenting him for the job. The best option is to zone it to the south-south.
“The party is now considering the south-east for the deputy speaker slot. We don’t know the fate of Governor Rochas Okorocha and Senator Benjamin Uwajimogu whose elections are still shrouded in controversies.
“We have nothing against the south-east, but we as a party we cannot zone the position of deputy Senate president to the region when the only senator-elect from there is yet to clear himself of the alleged N7.6 billion fraud.”