*Says party must be fair to all zones
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Yekini Nabena, has asked the party leadership not to zone the Speaker of the House of Representatives to the Southwest in the spirit of fairness.
With the Northwest and Southwest having produced the president and vice president respectively, the APC’s deputy spokesman said the party should ensure that the zoning arrangement for the Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of the 9th National Assembly reflects the remaining four geopolitical regions of the country.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, Nabena warned that if the party fails to get it right now, 2023 elections might turn out to be a free for all in the ruling party.
“The APC has elected National Assembly members from all geopolitical zones of the country. Hence, the party’s leadership and indeed the presidency must take deliberate efforts to provide a fair and justifiable zoning arrangement for the 9th National Assembly leadership.
“The zoning arrangement must also respect the fact that the Northwest and Southwest has already produced the President and Vice President respectively. So, for equity and adherence to the principle of federal character which is a constitutional requirement, the positions of Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives in the incoming 9th National Assembly must be occupied by APC members from the remaining four geopolitical regions of the country.” he said.
According to the Bayelsa-born APC Chieftain, the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) under the leadership of the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has already zoned the Senate Presidency to the North-east.
Nabena, however sugested that the party should zone the Deputy Senate President to the South-south while the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives should be zoned to the North-central and South-east in any order agreed by the party’s leadership.”
When reminded that his recommendation was at variance with the aspiration of Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila from the Southwest, Nabena said: “The Southwest already has a slot filled by the Vice President. In any case, the Southwest does not necessarily translate to Lagos or Ogun state. This is a sentiment widely shared by our members from the zone.
“As I earlier stated, the party’s leadership must take deliberate steps to provide a fair and justifiable zoning arrangement for the incoming 9th National Assembly leadership. Our actions and inactions will have serious implications on party unity and positively or negatively affect our standing ahead of 2023.”