With four days left to the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly, the Christian Organisation of Nigeria has drummed support for a former Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, to be elected as the next Senate president.
This was revealed in a statement jointly signed by CON President, Apostle Paul Nwokoro and Secretary General, Dr Mathew Arowolo on Thursday.
This was even as the clerics urged Senators-elect to discountenance the ‘enemies of democracy’ striving to use the politics of divide-and-rule and religious sentiments to discourage colleagues, especially from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party from voting Yari as the next Senate leader.
The APC had micro-zoned the position of Senate president to the immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and Deputy Senate President to the Chairman of Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Jibrin Barau.
The arrangement had sparked outrage from other aspirants in the race including Yari, who threatened to revolt by disobeying the party position if the zoning formula is not reviewed.
While justifying Yari’s endorsement, Nwokoro disclosed that the hollowed chamber of the Senate is where Nigeria must speak as one united and indivisible entity hence the need to discourage religious, ethnic and racial divisions.
The CON president explained that the former governor was endorsed by the religious body because they discovered after a critical assessment he was the most qualified of all the contestants irrespective of their religious divide.
He said, “We accept the decision of the Senators-elect to reject the APC endorsement and to vote according to their conscience. CON is apolitical and does not share the myopic reasoning that a Christian must be endorsed because we do not see any Christian from the lot contesting that is more capable than Yari.
“The 10th Nigerian Senate is not a place where cheap religious sentiments can fly hence propaganda machinery deployed to hoodwink Senators-elect into supporting a failed project is dead on arrival. We, therefore, call on the Senators-elect to jettison all such endorsements. Nigeria is our common patrimony and we must rise up to endorse only candidates who have not sold their souls.
“We are passing a vote of confidence on the former Governor of Zamfara State, Senator Abdul’aziz Yari’s ambition to become the next President of the Senate. He is one of the notable nationalists, who have always put the country’s interest at heart. It’s our candid opinion that the leadership of the APC should allow the North West Zone to provide the post of the senate president in view of the fact that the zone gave more than 30 per cent of the winning votes for President Bola Tinubu during the election.”