Obiora Ifoh, Abuja
Against the arrangement by the All Progressives Congress, APC leadership to exclude the Southeast from the leadership role in the current dispensation, a group, South East Concerned Youths has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail upon the Party to ensure that Southeast is rewarded with the speakership of the House of Representatives.
The group also called on other aspirants of speakership of the House of Representatives to emulate Hon Umar Mohammed Bago from Niger State who said he was ready to step down for Southeast candidate for the interest of the natural principles of equity, fairness and justice without which no society, no matter how naturally and materially endowed can make progress.
Speaking to the media on Friday in Abuja, National Coordinator of the group, Ogubuike Comrade Chinedu said conceding the position of speakership to the zone will not only be for the good of the SouthEast zone but, also, for the good of the country and ruling party.
He said, “While noting the positive steps of the President Muhammadu Buhari led APC government to accommodate the Igbos, there has persisted widespread hue and cry of marginalization. The key reason this sentiment has refused to die down is that the zone feels it is not occupying any strategic office like that of Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Justice of Nigeria, or even Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF. For us this cry of marginalization and Igbo agitation can be addressed with the low hanging fruit of Speakership of the 9th Assembly.
“We don‘t think it will augur well for APC to openly disregard the leader of the party and President of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari who recently declared that the time to practice true federalism in Nigeria has come.
“That stand of Mr President should have a binding effect on his party and for us the coming election of principal Officers of the national assembly should serve as test of giving it practical expression.
“Against this background, we are appealing from the bottom of our hearts to Mr. President to please pay serious attention to the ongoing process of emergence of 9th NASS leadership. While not advocating interference in the process, we feel President Buhari as leader of APC and President of Nigeria should take more than a passing interest in election of principal officers of the NASS because ultimately, he will be piloting the affairs of the country for the ‘next four years with the new leaders of the National Assembly.
“At this juncture, let us say without fear of contradiction that majority 0f APC leaders and members across the country and indeed, all men and women of goodwill are disposed to the clamour for South East to produce the next Speaker. The massive support can be seen in the way this campaign has been spreading like wildfire and garnering support few days after it was born.
“We want to most excitedly refer to what unarguably remains the biggest endorsement of this justified clamour which came from one of the topmost contenders for the Speakership position, Hon Umar Mohammed Bago from Niger State. This true patriot was quoted to have said that he will drop his ambition if his party said it has zoned the position of Speaker to South East. We are also aware that the wind of support is gathering strong momentum across the six zones of this country.
“We are appealing to other contenders for the seat from other zones to emulate Hon Bago and step down in the interest of the country. South East has the strongest, most acceptable and most genuine case at this material point in time and every other zone should allow. it occupy that seat!
“We make bold to assert that SouthEast will produce a speaker the Nigerian people and the Executive will trust and work with to give life to the APC‘s next level agenda.”
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