The governor of Ondo State and chairman of South-West Governors’ Forum, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has faulted the zoning arrangement of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the offices presiding officers of the 10th National Assembly.
Recall that the APC NWC had announced a zoning arrangement: Senate President – South South Senator Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Deputy Senate President – North West-Senator Barau Jubrin (Kano)
Others are Speaker House of Representatives North West – Hon. Abass Tajudeen (Kaduna), Deputy Speaker South East-Hon. Ben Kalu (Abia).
But Akeredolu in a statement he personally signed and made available to Reporters on Wednesday described the zoning as a “skewed arrangement that reinforces injustice and enhances inequity”.
The governor noted that the “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.”
The governor disclosed that “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 North Central suffers the consequences for its innocence and shrewd loyalty by having none.”
According to Akeredolu, “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, needless suspicion even as it structures nothing but a combination of booby traps. We must avoid all these.”
While saying that it was an insidious permutation that North-East will be deprived in the face of the unsavory generosity dispensed through two slots to a particular geo-political zone, Akeredolu noted that it is also self-repudiating for one to argue, therefore, that the Speaker of the House of Representatives cannot also emerge from the North-East.
“Let the North play a stronger, more robust, and all-inclusive role in the emergence of the positions zoned to the region, especially the Speakership.
“Furthermore, it strikes a huge ingratitude that the role of the Progressive Governors Forum appears unimportant. As leaders of the Party in their respective States, there cannot be a greater disservice to them that a consensus was yet to be reached when the NWC hurriedly released a dangerous tool for the opposition in the guise of a zoning formula. To me, even on this note, it’s unacceptable.
Does it not also exude a serious discomfort that the aspirants to the Speakership were not consulted, approached, and effectively engaged before the purported zoning formula? It does, and so.
“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.
“I call on the NWC of our great Party to follow the path of purity and Justice. It is perhaps expedient that Mr. President-elect interrogates this skewed arrangement and gives direction that reflects our collective commitment to equality and fairness.
“In this particular case, and to avoid a repeat of untoward situations, it is advised that the APC NWC immediately summons the National Executive Committee (NEC)after robust National Caucus/Stakeholders parley to agree on terms that would strengthen our great Party,” the governor stated.
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