The North Central APC Stakeholders have demanded the zoning of Speakership position to the region for the sake of Justice, Equity and Fairness
These Demands were made by the Convener of the group, Rev. Dominic Alancha at a world Press conference on Sunday in Abuja.
See text of the press conference below …
Being the text of a press conference by the North Central APC STAKEHOLDERS on the 7th of May, 2023.
Gentlemen of the press, on behalf of the North Central APC STAKEHOLDERS I welcome you all to this press conference.
As you may have known, our group, the North Central APC STAKEHOLDERS was formed in 2015, stands to defend the tenets of democracy and to uphold the rule of law by ensuring fairness and justice to all and at all times.
With these noble aims, it has been our lot to commend acts that promote the rule of law and social justice and to speak out whenever we notice acts capable of undermining or threatening our hard earned democracy and to advocate for fairness and balance at all times.
We are again compelled to invoke our mandate to address you this morning due to an anomaly we have detected in the direction APC leadership in the country is taking in the course of zoning key offices in the 10th Assembly which we feel may not augur well for our democracy.
We are constrained to register our disappointment and to protest the decision of the APC Leadership to zone two Presiding Positions Deputy Senate President and Speaker in the 10th National Assembly in favour of the Northwest to the total exclusion of the North Central and other zones in the country.
Having won the 2023 presidential elections fair and square, we had expected the Leadership of APC to be guided by the principle of justice and fairness in zoning leadership positions in the parliament and had thought that factors like commitment to the success of the party, level of contributions and the need for fairness, Equity and justice to all would guide the decision.
What we have seen emerging from the decision of the APC however, is a situation of total disregard to Justice Equity and fairness where personal interests has been put forward thereby bringing chaos and conflict in a situation that would have otherwise gone smoothly if national interest has been the guiding principle.
While the decision of the APC leaders to zone the Senate Presidency to the South South and the Deputy Senate Presidency to the North West conforms to the expectations of most Nigerians because it takes care of zones that are yet to be represented in the composition of the leadership of the next administration we cannot say the same for the zoning of other leadership positions for the 10th Assembly.
We therefore take strong exceptions to the bid to zone the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives to the North West zone because that will imply undue favouritism, lack of fairness and the marginalisation of other zones.
Because, while the North West will go home with two key positions in the National Assembly, the North Central and the South East would be totally excluded from the leadership of the 10th National Assembly.
This to us seems to be a deliberate act of provocation to the North Central zone which has contributed so much to the success of the APC as a party and to the victory of President-elect Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
In the last elections, the North Central apart from giving the APC presidential ticket an overwhelming number of votes, gave a greater number of parliamentary and governorship seats to the APC.
The APC won in Kwara, Niger, Benue and Kogi in the presidential elections and in the governorship elections, the North-central with six states gave the APC the four states of Benue, Niger, Nasarawa and Kwara, while that of Kogi which is still in the hands of the APC is pending meaning it lost only one state to the opposition parties.
In the parliamentary elections the APC clinched majority seats in Kwara, Kogi, Niger and Nasarawa states and Benue where it won two out of the three senatorial seats and 10 of the 11 House of Representatives seats leaving the PDP with only one seat each in both the Senate and House of Representatives.
Compare this with the North West where the APC failed to secure the key states in the Northwest like Kaduna, Kano and Katsina, Kebbi and Sokoto in the presidential elections which usually bring the deciding votes winning only Zamfara and Jigawa of the seven states in the zone.
The picture is even worse with the parliamentary elections where the APC lost majority seats in Kano with the NNPP clearing 18 out of the 24 House of Representatives seats in the state while in Kaduna, the APC lost all the three senatorial and 11 seats out of the 16 seats for House of Representatives to the PDP.
It therefore means that the North Central zone has contributed more to the success of the APC than the other zones apart from the South west.
We therefore fail to see the reason behind the decision to sideline a zone that has given a greater number of votes in all the elections to the APC while a zone that has given less is being considered for two key positions in the National Assembly.
This as they say is like robbing Peter to pay Paul which should not be the case in a democracy which is about inclusiveness and the people.
The President-elect will do well to remember that when in the build up to the APC presidential primary, the party’s national Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu announced Senate President Ahmed Lawal as the party’s consensus candidate, there was wide condemnation as all people of good will and conscience rose to oppose that unfortunate position due to its arbitrariness and illogic.
This was what paved the way for the emergence of Asiwaju Tinubu as the presidential candidate of the APC and the later President-elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This happened in less than a year and is similar to what is happening now with the plot by few individuals to corner the Speaker position to their cronies hence the need for the President-elect to intervene.
We are advising the President-elect to be wary of some people close to him who are trying to hear up the polity and are hell bent on putting their stooges to succeed them at the House of Representatives.
We also call on members-elect not to be swayed by the antics of some selfish individuals but insist on doing the right on the D-day which is to vote for a credible, Competence, Experienced, and thorough leadership for the House.
THIS IS OUR DEMAND
All the North Central is demanding for is the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives since the President and Vice President-elect are from the Southwest and Northeast respectively while the South South and North West are taking the positions of Senate President and Deputy Senate President.
The North Central for fairness and equity, should be given the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives as a just compensation for the overhelming support the zone has given the APC in the presidential, National Assembly, governorship and State Assembly elections.
The zone has experienced, tested and ranking members to occupy the position especially the current Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase.
Added to these is the fact that the zone has not held the position of Speaker since the return of democracy in 1999 while the North West has had it for 12 years in the last 24 years alone.
It would be fair if the APC leaders reconsider their positions on the leadership of the 10th Assembly for justice to prevail.
Rev. Dominic Alancha