Yekini Nabena

The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Yekini Nabena, on Tuesday called on the leadership of the party to consider zoning the position of the Speaker of the Ninth House of Representatives to the North-Central.

It is believed that the party is considering zoning the position to the South-West and may name Mr Femi Gbajabiamila from Lagos as its preferred choice.

But Nabena told journalists in Abuja that with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo coming from South-West, the zone should no longer be considered in the zoning of National Assembly positions.

He said the North-West should also not be considered since President Muhammadu Buhari is from the zone.

He urged the party’s leadership to ensure that the zoning arrangement for the President of the Senate, Deputy President of the Senate, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives in the Ninth National Assembly reflects the remaining four geopolitical regions of the country.

Nabena warned that if the party did not get it right now, 2023 elections might turn out to be a free fall all in the ruling party.

He said, “The APC has elected National Assembly members from all geopolitical zones of the country. Hence, the party’s leadership and indeed the Presidency must take deliberate efforts to provide a fair and justifiable zoning arrangement for the Ninth National Assembly leadership.

“The zoning arrangement must also respect the fact that the North-West and South-West have already produced the President and Vice President respectively.

“So, for equity and adherence to the principle of federal character which is a constitutional requirement, the positions of Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives in the incoming Ninth National Assembly must be occupied by APC members from the remaining four geopolitical regions of the country.”

While noting that the party’s National Working Committee has already zoned the Senate Presidency to the North-East, he recommended a zoning arrangement for the remaining positions.

“The Deputy Senate President should be zoned to the South-South while the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives should be zoned to the North-Central and South-East in any order agreed by the party’s leadership,” he added.

When reminded about the aspiration of Gbajabiamila from the South-West to be the next Speaker, Nabena said, “The South-West already has a slot filled by the Vice President.

“In any case, the South-West does not necessarily translate to Lagos or Ogun State. This is a sentiment widely shared by our members from the zone.

“As I earlier stated, the party’s leadership must take deliberate steps to provide a fair and justifiable zoning arrangement for the incoming Ninth National Assembly leadership.

“Our actions and inactions will have serious implications on party unity and positively or negatively affect our standing ahead of 2023.”

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