CSOs commend Tinubu, APC for reconsidering zoning
A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations under the aegis of Conference of Nigeria Civil Rights Activists (CNCRA) has described as a welcome development, media reports that the President Elect, Bola Tinubu, and the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have resolved to review the 10th National Assembly zoning arrangements earlier released by the party.
The Convener of CNCRA , Pastor Ifeanyi Odili, in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, said the latest decision by the party and the President-Elect shows that Tinubu is a true democrat who believes in equity, fairness and justice.
It will be recalled that the APC had penultimate week, announced its much awaited zoning arrangements whereby the NorthWest geopolitical zone was allocated two presiding positions while both the South-South and the Southeast got one each.
The North Central geopolitical zone was completely left out in the arrangements and the development had sparked off a series of protests from stakeholders and politicians who worked to ensure victory for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu during the presidential election in the zone.
But the CNCRA said the fact that Tinubu and the elders of the APC would consider the review of the zoning arrangements in such a way to accommodate the North Central will calm frayed nerves and instill confidence in the leaders of the zone who had over the years, exhibited loyalty and commitment to the APC and the President-Elect.
A recent Newspapers publication had revealed that the leadership of the APC and Tinubu, might have finally agreed to review the zoning arrangements for the 10th National Assembly presiding officers.
Investigations by the Media platform had indicated that the decision was taken following a meeting Tinubu had with a few of the aspirants shortly after he arrived from France on Saturday.
The report also indicated that aspirants including the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Idris Wase; Senator Godswill Akpabio; and Senator Sani Musa, and others, met separately with the President-elect.
A source at the residence of the President- elect explained that Wase, who is contesting the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, was the first to meet Asiwaju, adding that he left immediately after his behind-the-door encounter with Tinubu.
The source added that other aspirants who met with Tinubu however emerged after their discussion with the President-elect in high spirit but refused to make any comments and they all left.
According to the pro-democracy group, the North Central deserved a Presiding Officer in the interest of fairness, equity and Justice.
The CNCRA explained that the North Central zone had been seriously marginalized in Nigeria since 1999.
Part of the statement read, “The North-Central has been the most marginalised in the country since 1999.
“The Zone has not produced the president nor vice president of the country, and it was only proper that the zone should be allowed to produce the next Deputy Senate President in the 10th National Assembly.
“All the Senators-Elect from the zone, irrespective of their political parties, ethnic and religious background have spoken with one voice and the entire six governors have also re-echoed the demands of the Senators.
“It will only be proper and just for the North Central to produce the Deputy Senate President since the North West would produce the Speaker of the 10th House of Representatives.
“The North Central being the largest zone in the country in terms of landmass, has suffered the worst form of insecurity, partly because it lacked adequate representation in the nation’s highest political hierarchy.
“Notwithstanding the unacceptable recurring decimal of not receiving commensurate compensation and attention, the North Central contributed significantly more than ever before by voting more for the APC in the last presidential election.
The zone produced the third highest vote tally amongst the zones in the country.
“There is therefore the need for a ranking senator from the zone to emerge as the next Deputy Senate President so as to effectively tackle the worsening insecurity in the North Central.
“Apart from this, the nation’s economy could be revived and transformed with appropriate legislation and the North Central has abundant natural resources that could be harnessed for economic development.
“For instance, Senator Sani Musa, has been condemning the worsening insecurity situation in the country on the floor of the Senate.
“The Senator, who hails from Niger State, one of the worst- hit states by terrorists’ activities, has consistently decried the worsening security situation in the country.
“”When we look at the North Central zone, Senator Musa is the most ranking senator that should be supported by all for the position of the Senate President.
“What the All Progressives Congress (APC) should do is to zone the office of the Deputy Senate President to the North Central, so as to compensate the people for their massive support and vote in the recent Presidential and National Assembly elections,” the statement stressed.
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