…hails aspirants for rejecting party’s position
The zoning arrangement released by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the leadership positions in the National Assembly has been met with opposition from Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, who says the formula is “skewed” and “reinforces injustice and enhances inequity”.
In a statement issued on Monday, Governor Akeredolu expressed his concern about the NWC’s announcement and accused some party members of trying to manipulate the system to favour their own interests, particularly the presidential aspirations of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“Aside from the unpretentious ambiguity in the purported press statement issued by the leadership of the APC, the contents, intentions, and motives of the zoning formula represent early signs of steps aimed at attempts to cabin the hard-earned Presidency for our Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu by a few individuals with eyes on ASO ROCK POWER BUTTONS,” he said.
According to the NWC’s zoning arrangement, the North West is to produce two presiding officers out of four, while the North Central gets none. This, Governor Akeredolu said, is unfair to the North Central region and could lead to distrust and suspicion within the party.
“It stands logic on the head that one geo-political zone, Northwest in this regard, will be favoured with two presiding officers positions out of four while North Central suffers the consequences for its innocence and shrewd loyalty by having none,” he said.
The governor also expressed his dissatisfaction with the way the Progressive Governors Forum had been treated in the process, saying that their role appeared 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.
He urged the NWC to consult with all relevant stakeholders, including the aspirants for the leadership positions, and come up with a more inclusive and equitable arrangement.
“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,” he said.
Governor Akeredolu also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and ensure that the party’s zoning arrangement 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,” he added.