Dr. Doyin Okupe
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has dismissed as baseless, the allegation by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, that the “Yoruba people in the ACN conspired against the Yoruba’’ to scuttle the election of a Yoruba as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The party said PDP is exposing its own folly by blaming the glaring marginalisation of the Yoruba by the Jonathan administration on the ACN, saying the PDP has nothing but total contempt for the Yoruba in particular and Nigerians in general.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said in a statement issued Sunday that ACN is not bound by the shifty and phoney zoning formula of the PDP.
‘’If the PDP had indeed wanted a Yoruba as Speaker, the party should either have won enough seats in the South-west or used its majority in the House to push through its anointed candidate. Failure to ensure the election of its candidate is a reflection of the insincerity of the PDP about the zoning of the post to Yoruba and the gross indiscipline in the party of tattered umbrella, it said.
ACN said the last option open to the PDP would have been to support any other Yoruba for the post across party lines.
“We the ACN have very capable members in the House to serve as Speaker. But the truth is that the ruling party wants a PDP member, not a Yoruba, for the post.
“Therefore we are not surprised that the PDP easily acquiesced to the defeat of its Yoruba candidate for the post of the Speaker of the House. The PDP zoning formula is pivoted on convenience rather than principle, After all, the zoning was easily jettisoned to pave the way for Jonathan to contest as president,’’ it said.
ACN said even if the PDP had not succeeded in giving the post of House Speaker to Yoruba in accordance with its so-called zoning formula, it could have rewarded them with known choice ministries or other top appointments, instead of totally relegating a whole people into irrelevance in its scheme of things.
The party slammed the PDP for playing the ethnic card, and rejected the cheeky and devilish move by the PDP to pigeon-hole the ACN into an ethnic cocoon.
“We are a national party and our spread attests to it. We have shown by supporting the election of Aminu Tambuwal as Speaker of the House that our agenda is not sectional but national, and we have no apologies to offer for that
“Let the PDP continue to wallow in insufferable arrogance and disdain for the electorate, by sharing posts before elections are concluded. It is like sharing the parts of an animal that has yet to be killed. This is the stuff of which the PDP is made, and that is why it is crumbling now like a pack of cards,’’ it said.