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Some members of the House of Representatives have criticized the leadership zoning formula for the 10th National Assembly proposed by the governors. Congress of All Progressives (APC).
The governors under the umbrella of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), in a statement obtained exclusively by PREMIUM TIMES, recommended the zoning of the Senate President to the South-East or South-South regions and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. For the North-West or North-Central regions, the spokesperson must be distributed to the South-East or South-South.
The memo was sent to President-elect Bola Tinubu for his receipt.
The APC government, which will also form the majority in the 10th Senate and House of Representatives, which will be inaugurated on June 13, has yet to distribute the four seats.
But, two members of the House, Akin Alabi (APC, Oyo) and Rolland Igbakpa (PDP, Delta) criticized the recommendations, saying it may not be easy for the ruling party to divide the key positions in the Northern region, considering the president. -elect, Mr. Tinubu, and his Vice, Kashim Shettima dealt with the Muslim/Muslim Ticket.
Mr. Alabi and Mr. Igbakpa stated their positions while speaking at a Twitter Space organized by PREMIUM TIMES and titled: “How should the Leadership of the 10th National Assembly be distributed?”
Mr Alabi, who represents Egbeda/Ona-Ara Federal Constituency in Oyo State, said he is “not sure” whether the ruling APC “can afford” to hand out the Senate President to a Muslim candidate.
“It’s a question that will definitely be raised and something that our party needs to look into. There is no doubt about that. Look, we have the same faith card for the election. Yes, there are many reasons for this and the most obvious one is that the presidential candidate is from the South and he is a Muslim and Islam is a minority religion in the South,” he said.
“Throughout the south, Islam is a minority religion. If he chooses a Christian running mate, the Christian is a minority religion in the North. So the card is not that strong if you look at the religious factor. And like it or not, no matter how educated, we are talking about Nigeria, not just competence. There are still millions of people who will still look into the issue of religion and as a good leader you still have to lead people.
“Now we have a candidate for president. We’re talking about number three now. Can we get away with Muslims/Muslims? If we make Muslim/Muslim, questions will arise. Maybe the president-elect and the party leadership will feel it, okay. I think we need a Christian, maybe a Southern Christian. So that brings South-East, South-South on the table but that automatically rules out the North-East guys and then the North-East was very valuable to our party in this last election. They gave us the most votes.
“So they will ask for position three, but can we afford another Muslim/Muslims? I’m not sure we can afford it. But I think after Sallah everything will be clear and the leadership will come up with a position. But no one will be surprised that South East or if he goes South-South.’
Mr. Igbakaba, a PDP lawmaker, however, advised the National Assembly leader to consider South East lawmakers because people in the region believe they are being sidelined in national politics.
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“There should be no factor because you have to agree that there is a candidate in the South East whether you like it or not. As I said the country has never been so divided and everyone seems to care about their region. But now a president has emerged, a Nigerian president not an APC president. The sooner we start thinking nationalist, having a global review of Nigeria as a country, the better for everyone.
“And tomorrow, if you give the representation to the Southeast or whatever it is looking for and it would come first in this election, that is what we call patronage. I’m not from the South East and I don’t want to listen to this ethnic record, but people from the South East feel like they’re not seen as part of the country. They feel that they are not being taken like other regions. I think doing it for them will help in the next election,” he said.
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