Fierce battle has continued for the principal offices of the 10th National Assembly as about 37 senators-elect of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have vehemently rejected the advanced choice of Senators Godswill Akpabio and Jubrin Barau for Senate President and Deputy Senate President respectively, Sunday Vanguard understood at the weekend.
The choice of the pair, it was learnt, was communicated to the senators-elect by the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, at a meeting of the leadership of the APC on Friday night in Abuja.
The meeting also had the leadership of the National Assembly in attendance.
Akpabio, who is the immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, hails from Akwa Ibom North West senatorial district while Barau represents Kano North.
It also learnt that the president-elect also told the gathering that his choice for speakership of the House of Representatives was Hon. Tajudeen Abbas who represents Zaria federal constituency of Kaduna State.
A source, who was privy to the meeting and preferred not to be mentioned, told Sunday Vanguard that many of the senators-elect at the occasion, numbering about 37, said no to the choice of Akpabio, citing national unity and cohesion as their reason.
In the alternative, the senators reportedly pointed to the direction of the Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, and a former governor of Zamfara State, Senator Abdulaziz Yari for Senate President and Deputy Senate President respectively.
While Kalu represents Abia North Senatorial District, Yari was recently voted to represent Zamfara West.
The source added that the APC senators, who visibly showed their disapproval of the preferred choices, demanded the neutrality of the president-elect in the elections of the presiding and principal officers of the 10th National Assembly.