The Southeast caucus of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has demanded a review of the zoning arrangement ahead of the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly.
The zone took the stand during a stakeholders meeting held in Enugu on Saturday.
The meeting presided over by the National Vice Chairman of the party, Southeast, Chief Emma Eneukwu, had in attendance minister of Science and Technology, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, his labour counterpart, Dr. Chris Ngige, former Gov. and senator-elect, Dr. Orji-Uzo Kalu, former minister, Chief Emeka Worgu, serving and incoming members of the National Assembly, among others.
In a 7-point communiqué issued after the meeting, they called on the national leadership of the party “to revisit the subsisting zoning of principal offices in the 9th National Assembly in a more equitable manner that will accord more deserving positions to the Southeast zone considering that the Federation of Nigeria rests on the six geopolitical zones of Southeast, South south, Southwest, North Central, North East and North West.”
The APC NWC had earlier zone the speakership of the House of Representatives to the Southwest and the Senate President to the Northeast, while Deputy Senate President goes to the South south, leaving out the Southeast.
But the zone has now kicked against the decision, calling for a review.
It urged the NWC “to draw strength from the need to utilize the zoning of principal offices in the 9th National Assembly to further deepen and strengthen the electoral appeal of the party, especially in parts of the country where it may be considered as weak.”
The Southeast APC said in the communique that had taken particular interest in the legitimate pursuit of National Assembly leadership offices by interested leaders from the zone, adding that “it has endorsed their respective aspirations.”
They exhorted professionals and leaders of thought of Igbo extraction “to take active interest in the aspirations of Igbo leaders and members of our great party from the zone.”
Consequently, a committee, chaired by the minister, Chief Ogonnaya Onu, who is the leader of the party in the zone, has been saddled with the responsibility of interfacing with the party hierarchy and party leaders in the other zones with a view to giving the Southeast a fair position in the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, the meeting also congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on his electoral victory, resolving that a letter of congratulations be forwarded to him to express the support of the Southeast APC.
While commending the electorate in the Southeast for voting for the party, they expressed confidence that elected representatives “of our people on the platform of our great party would redouble their efforts to ensure that they meet the legitimate expectations of both their respective constituents in particular and the electorate in the zone in general.”
They deplored what they called “the undue interference and unwholesome meddlesomeness by forces from outside the zone in the affairs of the Southeast zone of our great party, aimed at factionalizing and destabilizing the party in the zone.”
A committee chaired by former minister, Barr. Emeka Worgu was also inaugurated to probe reported anti-party activities of some leaders of the party during the 2019 general elections.