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Sun Newspaper Headline (10th April,2019)

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More trouble for APC over zoning

  • More trouble for APC over zoning

North Central Elders Forum (NCEF) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to consider zoning the ninth Assembly House of Representatives speakership to North Central.

NCEF Chairman, Muhammadu Ari Gwaska, who spoke at a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, argued that North Central is too strategic to be relegated in the power equation in Nigeria. The forum warned that the zone would not accept anything other than the position of  speaker in the spirit of equity and fair play.

According to him, the appeal became necessary to avert a repeat of the revolt and rebellious act that characterised the emergence of the leadership of the incumbent Assembly in 2015. Gwaska frowned at speculations that the national leadership of the APC is considering South West for the speakership.

Describing the insinuation as unfair to the North Central, the forum noted that the zone has, since the second republic, continued to play a strategic role in representative government, adding that it has been the bridge between the northern and the southern part of country. “The North Central has demonstrated its loyalty and strength to the APC both in 2015 and 2019. In 2019, we contributed 2,441,013 votes to President Buhari compared to South West’s votes of 2,036,450. “To forestall the rebellion act that upset the apple cart in 2015, which produced the senate president and the speaker from North Central and North East respectively, which never had our backing, the national leadership of the APC must ensure that it does not inflict a sufficient damage on itself. “The consequences can be better imagined in the course of the selection and or election of the principal officers of the ninth House of Representatives.”

The governing party has adopted  Femi Gbajabiamila. Asked what the elders would do about the aspiration of Umar Bago from Niger State, the NCEF chairman responded: “The elders will reach out to him (Bago) to support the candidacy of Idris Wase. The zone will settle for nothing other than the position of Speaker in the spirit of equity and fair play.”

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