Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has continued to lay claims to the position of Senate President, saying, it's his turn.

As it’s customary, after the inauguration of a new administration on May 29, the first week of June follows by the inauguration of the National Assembly, with the emergency of its principal officers. 

In the same vein, Nigeria’s 10th National Assembly will be inaugurated. In this regard, different interest groups across the country are already lobbying for the seats of Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives. 

The incumbents, Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila, are not being mentioned in the races for the two offices principally because they are from the two zones that have produced the President-elect and Vice President-elect.

In the weeks following the 2023 presidential elections, speculations became rife of the need for ethnic balancing, and talks about a possible emergence of Senate President of Southeast extraction has gained traction. And the name of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has popped up repeatedly as being favoured to clinch the plump position.

However, if feelers from political circles are anything to go by, the chances of the Southeast appear to be dimming with the growing number of Senators-elect who have declared bids for the presidency of the Senate include. They include, Barau Jibrin (APC-Kano) and Abdulaziz Yari (APC-Zamfara) from the North-west zone; Sani Musa (APC-Niger) from the North-central; Orji Kalu (APC-Abia) and David Umahi (APC-Ebonyi) from the South-east; as well as Adams Oshiomole (APC-Edo) and Godswill Akpabio (APC-Akwa Ibom) from the South-south.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has 59 of the 109 seats in the Senate and is expected to prescribe the geo-political zone that will take the seat of the Senate President. But it’s being feared that the senators may also defy the majority party’s intervention and elect whoever they prefer, as happened at the 9th Senate in 2015 when Bukola Saraki took the position.


However, in Kano, where the 2023 elections were bitterly fought between the ruling APC and emergent opposition NNPP, lawmakers-elect and other politicians are looking beyond local rivalry in taking positions on the Senate presidency race.

Sources maintained that with a weak support base in the Southeast, the region may lose out, further relegating it to a distant background politically.

Another reason being adduced for the slim chances of the Southeast clinching the top Senate position is that since the first Senate was inaugurated in 1960, the Southeast zone has produced more Senate Presidents than any other zone.

For instance, Nnamdi Azikiwe of the National Council for Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) was the first to take the position. But he vacated it the same year when he became the Governor-General of Nigeria to his NCNC colleague, and Dennis Osadebey held it until he too emerged premier of the newly created Mid-west region in 1963.

Nwafor Orizu, also of the NCNC, became Senate President in 1963 and remained so until the bloody military coup of 15 January, 1966 when as acting President of Nigeria he handed over government to the army chief, Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi.

Thirteen years later when civil rule was restored under the Second Republic, Joseph Wayas from Cross River State served as Senate President from 1979 to 1983 under the National Party of Nigeria (NPN).

In addition, when the current democracy returned in 1999, the Senate president’s seat has rotated among the entire five states making up the Southeast zone, a source further added. 

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