Akeredolu faults ‘APC’s skewed zoning arrangement’ for n’assembly leadership


Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo state, has faulted the zoning arrangements by the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the leadership of the 10th national assembly.


In a statement on Wednesday, Akeredolu expressed concern about the decision of the party on the leadership of the incoming national assembly.


APC had nominated Godswill Akpabio, a former minister of Niger Delta affairs, and Abbas Tajudeen, a House of Representatives member from Kaduna, as leaders of the 10th national assembly.


Akpabio was nominated for president of the senate while Tajudeen was endorsed for the speaker of the House of Representatives.


The party also nominated Barau Jibrin, senator representing Kano north, as deputy senate president, and Benjamin Kalu, a lawmaker from Abia and current house spokesperson, as deputy speaker.


The announcement was met with protests from some legislators within the party.


On Monday, Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno south, dismissed Akpabio as the anointed candidate of the party for senate presidency, adding that lawmakers would still have to vote to determine the leader of the red chamber.


Similarly, Idris Wase, a legislator from Plateau who is in the race for speakership, said any attempt to “hijack” the parliament would be rejected, noting that the 10th assembly would not be made a lame duck.


Reacting to the development, Akeredolu described APC’s zoning arrangement as “unworkable” adding that it “reinforces injustice and enhances inequity”.


The governor said “it stands logic on the head” that the north-west would be getting two positions in the parliament leadership while the north-central is rewarded with none.


He accused “a few individuals with eyes on Aso Rock Power Buttons” of attempting to “cabin” the presidency of Bola Tinubu.


“It is with great concern, and indeed, with a huge burden that I read in the news of the purported zoning arrangement released by the national working committee of our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) as regards the leadership positions in the yet-to-be inaugurated national assembly,” Akeredolu wrote.


“Aside from the unpretentious ambiguity in the purported press statement issued by the leadership of the APC, the contents, intentions and motives of the zoning formula represent early signs of steps aimed at attempts to cabin the hard-earned presidency for our leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu by a few individuals with eyes on Aso Rock Power Buttons.


“It is trite to aver, that, it stands logic on the head that one geo-political zone, Northwest in this regard, will be favoured with two presiding officers positions out of four while Northcentral suffers the consequences for its innocence and shrewd loyalty by having none.


“It is an insidious permutation that Northeast will be deprived in the face of the unsavoury generosity dispensed through two slots to a particular geo-political zone. It is self-repudiating for one to argue, therefore, that the speaker of the House of Representatives cannot also emerge from the Northeast.


 “Therefore, the move to zone the national assembly leadership positions on the behest of interested personalities with perceived closeness to the president-elect manifesting lays the dangerous foundation of distrust, and needless suspicion even as it structures nothing but a combination of booby traps. We must avoid all these.


“Let the North play stronger, more robust and all-inclusive roles in the emergence of the positions zoned to the region, especially the speakership.


“It is in this regard that I salute the courage of the speakership aspirants for their show of solidarity, companionship and applaudable love for the party in their rejection, resentment and objection to the brazenly teleguided zoning arrangement that is skewed and targeted against some zones and identified individuals.


“Their action is commendable just as they are urged to ensure they pursue this to a logical conclusion. This is an unworkable arrangement that reinforces injustice and enhances inequity, and I join them in rejecting this zoning formula.”


Meanwhile, Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the House of Representatives, met with members-elect for the 10th assembly amid the leadership tussle.


The detail of the meeting at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja on Tuesday night still remains unknown.

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