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Politics

Deputy Senate President, Speaker can’t come from same zone, insists APC Integrity Group

From Okwe Obi, Abuja

Ahead of the June 13 resumption of the 10th National Assembly, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Integrity Group, has insisted that it was wrong for the party to zone the speakership and Deputy Senate President slots to North West.

The group’s National Coordinator, Dawu Mohammed and Secretary, Chisom Nwakanma, at a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, described as unfair, and inequitable, the zoning of the office of the Deputy Senate President (DSP) and Speaker, House of Representatives to the North West.

Mohammed also condemned what it described as the “recurring and open marginalization of some regions”, as it warned that it is an ill wind fraught with dangers.

He said: “No amount of argument can justify a zoning script that does not answer to the very question of inclusivity, mutual respect and oneness for a nation with growing fault lines.”

The APC National Working Committee (NWC) had a fortnight ago published a zoning arrangement in which it zoned the office of the Senate President and the Deputy Senate President (DSP) respectively to the South-South and to the North West.

By the script, Senators Godswill Akpabio and Jibril Barau were selected to man the respected offices, while Abbas and Kalu from Kaduna and Abia States are to emerge the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives. The arrangement has however generated intense controversy with lawmakers from the Red and Green Chambers resisting the move, as they insisted on picking the leadership of the legislature.

Accordingly, the APC Support group called on party members, especially its national leadership “to have a rethink and save the APC from a possible implosion.

“We can have the offices zoned to give the various parts of the country a better sense of belonging to the country, other than what we have now”.

The group urged the NWC to consider the positive contributions of the North Central region to the growth, stability and consolidation of the APC across the country, especially at the executive and National Assembly levels.

It maintained that such contributions could not be written without recalling the role of loyal party men across North Central zone that was omitted in the zoning agreement. “The North Central has performed so well in retaining the governing party, and the zone deserves the position of Deputy Senate President, (DSP)” APC Integrity Group stated.


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