After watching the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership allocate the senate presidency in the ninth National Assembly to the North-East, specifically to Yobe North senator Ahmed Lawan, a coalition of youth North-Central youth has vowed to resist the zoning of the speakership of the House of Representatives to the South-West.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Saturday, the coalition, the APC Young Patriots, said although the party had yet to officially announce the zoning to the South-West, it should not do so, else the 2015 scenario would repeat itself.
In 2015, the APC favoured Lawan for Senate President and Femi Gbajabiamila for House of Reps Speaker, but some desperate politicking saw Bukola Saraki, then of the APC, enter an alliance with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators to emerge Senate President, same way Yakubu Dogara rather than Gbajabiamila emerged House of Reps Speaker. As part of the trade-off, Ike Ekweremadu, a minority lawmaker, emerged Deputy Senate President, while Yusuf Lasun, another minority lawmaker, emerged Deputy Speaker.
On Saturday, Convener of APC Young Patriot, Dominic Alancha, warned the party: “If the party goes ahead to zone the position of the Speaker to the South-West because it wants 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.
“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, the speakership position will naturally go to the next in line – the North-Central zone – which produced the second largest votes after the North-East (2,465,599).
“So, why is the party suddenly shifting the goal post when it comes to zoning the speakership position by considering the South-West that performed less than the North-Central and even already has the number two position of a Vice President? ls this an equitable thing to do?”