By Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja
A coalition of the All Progressives Congress (APC) youth groups under the umbrella of North-Central APC Young Patriots has vowed to resist any attempt by the leadership of the party to zone the speakership of the House of Representatives to the South-west region.
Addressing journalists Saturday at the Stone Edge Hotel, Abuja, the coalition’s leader and convener, APC Young Patriot, Mr. Dominic Alancha, said though the party is yet to officially announce the zoning to the South-west, it should not take such decision to avoid a situation where the anointed candidates of the party lose key leadership positions in the 8th assembly.
According to him, “If the party goes ahead to zone the position of the Speaker to the South-west because it wants to foist a particular candidate on lawmakers disregarding popular support and equitable zoning formula, it will be shortchanging the North-central of its hard-earned right and this will be resisted by this group.”
Stressing that the motto of APC is justice, peace and unity, Alancha said: “One would expect that since the Senate Presidency was zoned to the North-east being the zone that contributed the highest number of votes after the North-west (3,238,783), the Speakership position will naturally go to the next in line-the North-central zone who produced the second largest vote after the North-east (2,465,599). So, why is the party suddenly shifting the goalpost when it comes to zoning the Speakership position by considering the South-west that performed less than the North-central and even already has the number two position of a vice-president? ls this an equitable thing to do?”
Querying how the party hopes to engender party loyalty and supremacy without an equitable zoning arrangement, the APC loyalist insisted that the North-central parades qualified lawmakers who can effectively lead the green chamber.
“One of such persons is the current Deputy Majority Leader, Hon Ahmed ldris Wase, who is the most ranking North-central member having returned to the House for the fourth term,” stressing that: “Hon Wase is a true leader who has the unique ability to carry his colleagues along, protect the interest of the party, and possess the political sagacity to build bi-partisan consensus when needed. He is very much popular and loved by his colleagues who rally around him for true leadership.”
Asked how the group intends to ‘resist’ the party in case the position is zoned to the South-west, he said: “We hope to do that through advocacy. We are going to meet members-elect. We are going to reach out to party leaders to ensure that this crisis is not created by zoning it (Speakership) away from us.”