While addressing journalists in Abuja Saturday, a coalition of 25 groups under the aegis of North Central APC Young Patriots emphasised that the performance-based criterium of the largest contribution to the just concluded general election adopted in arriving at the candidature of Senator Ahmed Lawan for the Senate President should equally be used in zoning the Speaker’s position to the North Central.
Saying that the group is for justice and equity, Dominic Alancha said, “If the party imposes a candidate, then it should be prepared for what happened in the 8th on the emergence of the National Assembly leadership.
He said: “We are going to resist and mobilze against it. We will do it through advocacy, campaign and other means to ensure that justice is done.
“The motto of APC is justice, peace and unity as such justice must seemingly seem to have been done. The non-adherence to this principle account for myriad of challenges within the party which have led to APC loosing most of the States to opposition party during recently concluded gubernatorial election.
“The continuance of this trend could further fracture the already fragile unity within the party structure. The APC leadership has to embrace this principle of political stability viz-a-viz the party motto in utmost sincerity and practicability, it the party must reposition itself as a leading mega political party.
“In order to avoid the sad occurrence of the last Assembly, where the anointed candidates of the Party lost the key leadership positions, it was the expectation of most APC loyalist and supporters that the Party was going to hung out an equitable zoning arrangement that will cater for all the geopolitical zones based on their contribution to the Party’s success at the poll. Moreover, it was expected that the Party will zone the various leadership positions of the National Assembly based on clear, identifiable and equitable criteria that will be understood by all players.
“So far, the Party has done the right thing in zoning the Senate leadership to the north-east (the zone that produced the highest number of votes for the Patty). As for the House of Representatives, although the party has not formally announced the zone that will produce the Speaker, there are indications that the Party intends to zone the Speakership position to the South-West.
“If this is true, the salient question will then be: what criteria is the party using to zone these leadership positions. One would expect that since the Senate Presidency was zoned to the North-East being the zone that contributed the highest number of votes after the North-west (3,238,783), the Speakership position will naturally go to the next in line, the North Central zone that produced the second largest vote after the North-East (2,465,599).
“So, why is the Party suddenly shifting the goalpost when it comes to zoning the Speakership position by considering a zone (the Southwest) that performed lesser than the North-Central and even so already have the No. 2 position of a Vice President? ls this an equitable thing to do? Why would the party arbitrarily change the rules of the game based on the interest and whims of vested interest?
“How does the party hope to engender party loyalty and Supremacy when it cannot commit itself to an equitable zoning arrangement? If the Party goes ahead to zone the position of the Speaker to the South-west because it want to foist a particular candidate on lawmakers disregarding popular support and equitable zoning formula, it will thereby be shortchanging the North Central of its hard-earned right which will be resisted by this group.
“We are conscious of our unique contribution and position In the political arrangement of our party. We will therefore as a front resist any attempt to deny us of what rightfully ought to be ours and given to a region that already has a Vice President.
“Any attempt to do so may create deep resentment, bitterness and disillusionment amongst the people of the North Central which will be disastrous for the Party during the Next Level and come 2023.
“Although, the Party has not made a pronouncement on the Speakership zoning, all APC loyalists, stakeholders and lawmakers must prevail on the Party hierarchy to do the right thing as any wrong move in getting things right now will not only spell doom for the Party in the coming four years but adversely affect the party’s chances in 2023 by total alienating the North Central which is already a politically polarized zone.
“Now that the Senate President has been taken from them and given to the North East, it is only fair to compensate the zone with nothing short of the position of Speaker to appreciate their contribution towards the Party‘s success at the general elections.
“We make bold to say that there are eminently qualified persons within the North Central to be elected as Speaker in the 9’h Assembly. One of such person is the current Deputy Majority Leader in the House, Hon Ahmed ldris Wase, who is the most ranking North Central member having returned to the House for the 4th term.
“We therefore call for equity and fairness in the zoning arrangement of our great party in order to engender loyalty, unity and peace”