Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Wednesday faulted the zoning arrangement for the 10th National Assembly proposed by his party, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), describing it as a “skewed arrangement that reinforces injustice”.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, in a statement, rejected the zoning formula of this party, saying, “This is an unworkable arrangement that reinforces injustice and enhances inequity.”
The ruling APC, as a single party, has the highest number of members in both green and red chambers.
The APC National Working Committee (NWC) had on Monday zoned the leadership of the 10th National Assembly.
The party organ zoned the Senate President to the South-South, Senator Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); Deputy Senate President to the North-West, Senator Barau Jubrin (Kano).
Others are the Speaker of the House of Representatives (North-West) – Abass Tajudeen (Kaduna), and Deputy Speaker South East – Ben Kalu (Abia).
APC National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Tuesday, said the South-South zone, which Akpabio represents, has not produced a Senate President since the beginning of the Fourth Republic in 1999.
However, Akeredolu knocked his party for favouring the North-West with two presiding officers positions out of four while North Central is left with none.
The governor described as an “insidious permutation that North East will be deprived in the face of the unsavoury generosity dispensed through two slots to a particular geo-political zone”.
Akeredolu said the move to zone the National Assembly leadership positions on the behest of interested personalities with perceived closeness to the President-elect laid a dangerous foundation of distrust and needless suspicion.
The Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum said the NWC of his party did not carry the Progressives Governors Forum along before coming to the public with the zoning formula.
“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,” he said.
Akeredolu commended Speakership hopefuls and members of the APC who have rejected the “skewed” zoning formula of his party.
“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,” he said.
“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 give direction that reflects our collective commitment to equality and fairness.
“In this particular case, and for the purpose of avoiding 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.