The President-elect, Bola Tinubu, returned to the country from a holiday in France on Saturday and is scheduled to meet with members of the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress and aspirants jostling for leadership positions in the 10th National Assembly.

Tinubu’s private jet touched down at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, around 12.15 pm and he and his wife, Oluremi, were received by the Vice-President-elect, Kashim Shetimma; President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje; Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Idris Wase; and the anointed candidate for the position of Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, and other top members of the APC and supporters.

Tinubu is expected to join the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and other dignitaries for the official opening of the Dangote Refinery Complex in the Lekki area of Lagos State on Monday.

Tthe President-elect was prevailed upon by the APC Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, to return to the country as he was already losing grip of the 10th National Assembly leadership jostle due to his absence.

“Abdullahi Adamu was said to have sent words to him (Tinubu) on Thursday night that he was losing grip of the protests against the zoning issue, especially when Gbajabiamila reported the outcome of his encounter with the Reps-elect at Transcorp, a meeting that was attended by less than 80 Reps out of 113 that have appended their signatures. Some fraudulent Reps even appended fake signatures,” a source informed one of our correspondents.


A member of the House of Representatives, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “Wase just confirmed to me that he held a brief meeting with Tinubu upon his arrival on Saturday. He said he was informed by the VP-elect, Shettima of the return of Jagaban (Tinubu), who also insisted that they must go to the airport together, which he did.


“He said he gave a detailed explanation that their protest was not against the President-elect, but against Gbajabiamila, who painted a picture of arrogance and treated all others as his subjects. He said it was no longer about the aspirants, but about how the North feels treated by another man who purports to act on behalf of the Jagaban. He said the meeting was fruitful and that something was being done about the impasse.”



Ggathered from an aide to the President-elect, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, that Tinubu would later on Saturday or today (Sunday) meet with the APC NWC members and all the aspirants for the leadership positions in the National Assembly with a view to dousing the tension generated by the party’s endorsement of some of the aspirants.


It was learnt that Tinubu might either endorse or demand a review of the sharing formula for the leadership positions in the Assembly.


The National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, had said when aspirants in the Senate and the House separately protested to the NWC that a review of the 10th National Assembly leadership zoning plan would be delayed till the return of Tinubu to the country.


The G-7, a group of aggrieved aspirants in the House of Representatives, is waiting to officially hear the position of the President-elect on the zoning plan that has generated uproar from within and outside the parliament.


Several members of the G-7 had during the week dissociated the President-elect from the announcement made by the NWC of the APC, arguing that Tinubu had yet to openly endorse the zoning plan.


The NWC on May 8, 2023, released the zoning formula for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly, picking Godswill Akpabio (Akwa-Ibom/South-South) for the President of the Senate; Jibrin Barau (Kano/North-West) for the Deputy President of the Senate; Tajudeen Abbas (Kaduna/North-West) for the Speaker, House of Representatives; and Benjamin Kalu (Abia/South-East) for the Deputy Speaker.


At the centre of the crisis is the outgoing Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, who is widely believed to have influenced the decisions taken by the APC NWC.

Tinubu and Gbajabiamila had on different occasions met with or reached out to the aggrieved aspirants before the zoning announcement by the party.

Shettima, after the protests that followed the zoning plan release, disclosed that he had met with some of the aggrieved aspirants and planned to reach out to the others.

“We have formed this alliance to resist all attempts by external forces to impose leadership on the 10th House of Representatives. Rest assured that the next leader of the House will emerge from us.”