Deputy Senate Presidency: APC group kicks against zoning to Northwest
CSOs Seek Stability, Oodu’a Condemns OPC’s Threat
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Integrity Group has faulted the decision by the party to zone the seats of the Speaker and Deputy Senate President to the North West Geo-political Zone of the country.
The group National Coordinator, Malam Dawu Mohammed at a press conference in Abuja argued that the decision was in clear breach of the constitution It maintained that no amount of argument could justify a zoning arrangement that does not answer to the very question of inclusivity, mutual respect and oneness for a nation with growing fault lines.
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,” it noted.
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.
In another development, the Oodu’a People Frontiers (OPF), yesterday, condemned the alleged threats by Oodu’a People’s Congress (OPC) to the North for contesting the National Assembly leadership sharing formula announced by the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The OPC had warned northern politicians against blackmailing the President-elect, Bola Tinubu over the leadership of the National Assembly. The group in a statement issued by its President, Otunba Wasiu Afolabi, said the politicians are overheating the polity unnecessarily with their interest to remain relevant in government.
But, Speaking in Lagos, the Convener of the group, Moses Odewale urged the President-elect, to distance himself from those it described as agents of destabilisation operating in various guises and concentrate on governance and the task of nation building with justice and equity for all.
He urged Tinubu not to be trapped by the game OPC is playing, noting that it would pitch him against his most reliable traditional political allies.
Odewale, however, maintained that the threat by the OPC is in no way the representative of the views of the decent Yoruba nation and should not be seen as such.
He described the threats as embarrassing, shameful and exposes the inconsistencies of the OPC and other groups like the Afenifere that pose as representatives of the Yoruba nation.
Meanwhile, a Coalition of Civil Societies on charged Senators-elect and other stakeholders to guide against action that would have adverse effect on the peace, unity, stability and independence of the 10th Senate.
A member of the coalition, Citizens Network for Peace and Development in Nigeria (CNPDN), called on senators-elect opposed to the choice of Godswill Akpabio as President of the 10th Senate to give priority to the promotion of the legislature.
It also cautioned the lawmakers-elect to not revolt against the zoning formula of the ruling APC for the leadership of the 10th Assembly, warning that such development could cause a serious face-off between the executive and legislature.
It noted that such a rift could put the nation’s developmental plan in jeopardy. It called on aspirants for the Senate Presidency to shelve their ambitions in the interest of the party and the nation.
National Secretary of CNPDN, Francis Wainwei dismissed concerns that the APC zoning formula would lead to the emergence of a rubber stamp legislature. Wainwei said there is a strong patriotic need for lawmakers-elect to drop their personal interests for the national and collective interest, in order to accelerate the holistic development of the country.
He said: “They should focus on the sacrifices they can make for the betterment of the country and not what they can gain for themselves at all costs.” Also, the Parliamentary Advocacy Network (PAN), called on lawmakers-elect to reject what it called attempt by external forces to intervene and impose their stooges as leaders of the legislature.
National Coordinator of PAN, Prince Anderson Osiebe, who presided over the press conference, said certain criteria should be considered by lawmakers-elect in picking the next leaders of the two chambers of the National Assembly.
He said: “We condemn in its entirety the interference and many glaring attempts of members of the executive at both the national and state levels to choose presiding officers for members of the legislature in these aforementioned jurisdictions.”