10th Assembly: APC Coalition Decries Exclusion Of North Central, Backs Senator Sani Musa For Deputy Senate President
Coalition of APC Geopolitical Zones Support Group has called for the reversal of what it described as the marginalization of North Central geopolitical zone of Nigeria in the sharing of principal offices ahead of the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly in June.
The group comprising of leaders from the six geopolitical zones of the country at a press conference in Abuja on Monday also endorsed Senator Muhammed Sani Musa for the position of Deputy President of the Senate, citing his many sacrifices for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the zone.
In a statement on Monday, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Felix Morka, announced the zoning arrangement as reported to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party as follows: Senate President – South-South, Senator Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); and Deputy Senate President – North West, Senator Barau Jubrin (Kano).
Others are the Speaker of the House of Representatives (North West), Hon. Abass Tajudeen (Kaduna) and Deputy Speaker (South East), Hon. Ben Kalu (Abia).
The sharing arrangement left the North Central geopolitical zone without a principal officer in the 10th National Assembly while the North West has two officers as nominees.
Speaking on behalf of the group, the South West Coordinator, Engr. Abdulakeem Ifeshile, appealed to the President-elect, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu “to see justice as a veritable tool in addressing so many National issues bedeviling Nigeria and address them as a matter of urgency so as to keep the country going on the peaceful coexistence path we have taken since the regain of modern democracy in Nigeria.”
He said, “We members of Coalition of APC Geopolitical Zone Support Group are here today to address and intimate you on the issue of the gross and open marginalisation of the North Central geopolitical zone in the sharing of principal officials/positions of the 10th National Assembly of Nigeria.
“As you may be aware, the North Central has been left out in the appointment of key positions in the 10th National Assembly, and this has created a sense of marginalisation and a feeling of neglect among the people of the zone.
“The North Central is one of the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria and has contributed significantly to the development, growth, progress and more importantly the success of the just concluded 2023 general elections in Nigeria”, he said.
The group argued that the “North Central produced 11 APC Senators and gave APC over 400,000 votes margin in the presidential election.
“Senators from the zone stepped down from contesting the position of Senate President to Deputy Senate President to give way for a Christian from Southern Nigeria to emerge.
“This is for the sake of unity, fairness, and inclusiveness demonstrated by the zone and this was led by Senator Muhammed Sani Musa CON among other sacrifices he has made for his party, APC.
“However, it is unfortunate that the zone has been overlooked in the appointment of principal officials in the National Assembly.
“The National Assembly is a critical institution in the Nigerian political system, and the appointment of principal officials should reflect the diversity and inclusiveness of the Nigerian state.
“Therefore, it is imperative that the North-Central is given a fair and equitable representation in the appointment of principal officials in the National Assembly”, the group contended.
The group disclosed that members of the Coalition of APC Geopolitical Zones Support Group recently met to discuss the issue of marginalization of the North Central zone in the sharing of principal positions in the 10th National Assembly and “after a careful review of the situation; we wish to make the following observations that:
“1. The National Assembly is a critical institution of our democracy, and it is important that all geopolitical zones are adequately represented in the leadership positions.
“2. We note with concern that the recent sharing of principal positions in the 10th Assembly has not reflected the federal character principle enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution, particularly with regards to North central.
“3. The marginalization of North Central in the sharing of principal positions in the National Assembly is unacceptable and undermines the principles of equity, fairness, and justice that are essential for the stability and progress of our country.
“4. We call on the leadership of the party, particularly, the President-elect, Senator Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to urgently address this issue by ensuring that North-Central geopolitical zone is adequately represented in the sharing of principal positions.
“5. We also call on the Federal Government to take steps to address the underlying causes of this marginalization and to ensure that all geopolitical zones are treated fairly and equitably in all spheres of government.
“6. We have equally resolved and unanimously agreed upon that Senator Muhammed Sani Musa (CON). A Senator representing Niger East has also been adopted by the senators elected on the platform of APC from the North-Central zone for the office of Deputy Senate President
“7. We want to make it categorically clear that, North-Central geopolitical zone cannot not continue to take the back seat in Nigerian project as Nigerian constitution, particularly the 1999 Constitution, is unambiguously and explicitly against inequality in running the affairs of the nation.
“8. The constitution provides that there should be equality, social and political justice for all Nigerians. In particular, Section 17, subsection 1 of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria states: “The State social order is founded on ideals of Freedom, Equality and Justice”.
“9. It is not a gainsaying that, none of us is done in Nigeria as long as injustice and gross inequality persists in power-sharing as well as in all other affairs of our great country.
“10. Once again, we specifically call and appeal to the President-elect, Senator Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to see justice as a veritable tool in addressing so many National issues bedeviling Nigeria and address them as a matter of urgency so as to keep the country going on the peaceful coexistence path we have taken since the regain of modern democracy in Nigeria.
“11. As a group, we strongly appeal to the leaders of our great party to go back to the drawing boards to bring justice and patriotism to bear and consider North-central geopolitical zone in the sharing of the principal positions in the composition of the 10th Assembly.
“12. Historically, the North-Central has always been a most senior partner and stabilising factor in economic and socio-political development of Nigeria”, the group itemised.
In conclusion, the Coalition urged “all Nigerians to join us in calling for a more inclusive and equitable Nigeria, where every citizen is treated with dignity and respect, and where no one is left behind.”
Other Principal Leaders
Other principal leaders of the group are the North Central Coordinator, Dr. (Amb) Ibrahim S. Tajudeen Olesin; South East Coordinator, Miss Rosemary Nwosu; South South Coordinator, Dr. Ekpeyoung Etim Basset; North West Coordinator, Dr. Mohammed Hamisu; North East Coordinator, Alhaji Abubaka Yau; and Hon. Abdulmajeed O., Speaker Oodua Youth Parliament and of the Civil Society Group of Nigeria. Read more stories