- The south-east and the north-central regions are clamouring for the Speakership position in the 9th National Assembly
- This is despite the endorsement of Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila by the ruling APC for the position
- Two groups representing the regions addressed the press on Thursday, April 11 on their stance
The south-east and the north-central regions are clamouring for the Speakership position in the 9th National Assembly, despite the endorsement of Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the position.
Gbajabiamila, a 5th term lawmaker and current Majority Leader in the House, is from the south-west region of the country. He is being challenged by seven contenders who are members of the APC for the position.
They are House spokesman Abdulrazak Namdas (APC, Adamawa), Mukhtar Aliyu Betara (APC, Borno), Idris Wase (APC, Plateau), Umar Bago (APC, Niger), Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (APC, Abia), John Okafor (APC, Imo), Babangida Ibrahim (APC, Katsina) and Mohammed Kazaure (APC, Jigawa).
The APC South East Renaissance Group (ASERG) on Thursday, April 11 at a press briefing in Abuja, said the south-east deserves the position.
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The group said the south-east region has long been excluded and “all it needs is to be included as the politics of exclusion has not yielded much political dividend.”
“But many years down the line, the south-east and indeed the former eastern region comprising the lgbo, ltsekiri, lbibio, Tiv, Idoma, Jukun and many others are still faced with rejection, denials, deprivations and exclusion, of political and socio-economic ramifications,” it said.
The convener, Chris-lance Oyemechere, said it is not fair for the region which produced vice president to produce speaker again.
On its part, the North Central Progressive Forum (NCPF), wants the position zoned to the north-central region.
The NCPF at a press briefing on Wednesday, April 10, endorsed Mohammed Umaru Bago as its Speakership candidate for the region.
Jointly addressing the press in Abuja, the national coordinator, Godwin Meliga and national secretary, Abbah Emmanuel, asked President Muhammadu Buhari, the APC chairman, and members of the 9th assembly to support the member.
Meliga said: “We have borne it upon ourselves to express to the whole world the political injustice that has been meted out against the people of this zone, even in the ongoing political calculations and scheming happening in the ranks and file of the ruling APC.
“It requires no further political clarification to assert that the north-central Nigeria occupies a sensitive place in not only the geographical division of the country but also a critical political status, comprising the following states, Kogi, Kwara, Benue, Niger, Nasarawa, Plateau and the Federal Capital Territory.
“This logically places the zone on the same number of states as the north-west zone, at seven states, with the inclusion of the Federal Capital Territory.
“It will, therefore, not anything close to being a misnomer or economical with the truth, if one could affirm that the zone rightly deserves a special political status and consideration, in major national political discourse and decisions.”
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Meanwhile, Honourable Nkeiruka Onyejeocha has opined that her emergence as the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 9th National Assembly will douse agitations in south-east region of the country.
In an interview with The Guardian, the Abia state lawmaker, who is the only female in the race, said the people of the south-east would see that they are part of Nigeria and it would douse all claims of marginalisation if she emerges Speaker.
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