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APC has no zoning arrangement for National Assembly leadership


National assembly building

National assembly building

As various aspirants continue jostling for leadership positions in the incoming 8th session of the National Assembly, the leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC) has said that the party would not consider any zoning arrangement in filling the positions.

Pioneer Chairman of the party and one of the leaders, Chief Bisi Akande disclosed yesterday that the APC was not going to make the same mistakes that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) made “that caused the party to lose credibility not only among its members but also among Nigerians.”

Akande who had a chance encounter with journalists in Lagos where he enumerated what the APC leadership plans to do to have a virile legislature, said “in our desire to have the best legislature, we are not considering any zoning arrangement whatsoever.

“The issue of zoning, which is even alien to our party, is not clear. On what basis should we base the arrangement? Is it on ethnicity or religion? These are the things that destroyed the PDP and we don’t want to follow that path of destruction.

“The PDP started getting it wrong by having a profligate legislature that started with a budget of N10 billion to about N150 billion with almost nothing to show for it. We are not going to do that. We want a parliament leadership that will work in accordance with the pledges of our party to Nigerians.

“After the elections, the party leadership unanimously agreed that we are going to allow the best to emerge from our pool of competent legislators, and they are many, but that we are not going to put any zoning restrictions.

“Initially we toyed with the idea of allowing the minority leader to assume authority as it is being done when there is a change of baton in the United States but after consultations with our people who are going to be in the parliament we got contrary advise, so we dropped the idea.”

When asked about the claims that the position of the Senate Presidency has been reserved for a section of the country, Akande answered in the contrary saying, “what we are particular about now is getting our lawmakers to know each other and have a oneness of purpose that will assist the incoming administration in delivering dividends of democracy to the Nigerian people.”

He however assured APC members that the PDP would not be allowed to take advantage of the absence of a zoning arrangement in the APC to take over the leadership of parliament saying, “we are going to invoke party supremacy and the inherent discipline in our party, to make sure that they are out at bay.

“And if things are getting difficult, we may have to organise a primary elections for our legislators to chose their leaders themselves and the winners would hold the positions. Of course, if we decide on that, once you are elected in-house, the whole members would support you.”

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