Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress South-East Renaissance Group on Thursday called on the leadership of the party to zone the position of the Speaker, House of Representatives in the Ninth National Assembly to the South-East.
The group’s convener, Chris Onyemechara, made the call at a press conference in Abuja.
Onyemechara claimed that the APC denied the South-East principal office positions in the National Assembly in 2015 on the grounds that the zone did not have a ranking member on the platform of the party.
He regretted that now that the zone had produced two ranking members, the party’s leaders seemed to be shifting the goal post.
He said a situation where the same geopolitical zone that produced the Vice-President was scheming to produce the Speaker of the House of Representatives was unacceptable.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo is from the South-West while it is believed that the party leadership is considering Femi Gbajabiamila, also from the South-West, for the position of the Speaker.
“A situation where the same geopolitical zone which produced the Vice-President of the country and the national leader of our party is seen scheming and demanding, with a bloated sense of entitlement, the Speakership of the House of Representatives, smacks of political avarice, brazen injustice and grave disservice to good conscience,” Onyemechara said.
He claimed that in spite of all odds, the APC members in the South-East had shown capacity and leadership, hence they should be encouraged with such strategic position.
He therefore called on all party members jostling for the position from other geopolitical zones to withdraw from the race and support the South-East.
He said, “Politics of exclusion did not yield much political dividends for our party in the South-East in the last election.
“Wisdom will advise that our party embraces politics of inclusion.
“Politics of exclusion did not work, why don’t we try politics of inclusion?
“Under the circumstance, the best way to start is to zone the Speakership of the House of Representatives to the South-East.
“We therefore call on our party members from other geopolitical zones jostling for the Speakership of the House of Representatives to forthwith withdraw from the race and support the South-East in the spirit of fairness, justice and equity.”