Plans by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, through its National Working Committee, NWC, to impose leadership on the 10th National Assembly appears to be creating more problems for the party, as some of the lawmakers have called for an open contest and squaring up to confront the party.
This came as the controversy generated by the zoning formula put forward by the NWC is tearing the party apart.
Some aggrieved speakership aspirants, yesterday, told the National Chairman of the APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, that he betrayed them after asking them to ‘slow down’ their campaigns and give room for consultations.
However, the APC has appealed to aggrieved aspirants and tendencies to give the party more time to address their grievances.
On Monday, the NWC zoned the Senate Presidency and Deputy Senate Presidency to South-South and North-West and adopted Senators Godswil Akpabio and Jibrin Barau. It also zoned the Speakership and Deputy Speakership to North-West and South-East and chose Tajudeen Abass and Ben Kalu for the slots. The party said those selected were also the choices of President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, of Ondo State yesterday, picked holes in the zoning template, saying it is unworkable because it reinforces injustice and inequity by excluding the North-Central zone.
He urged the NWC to convene a meeting of the National Executive Committee, NEC, to redress the issue.
This came as some Senators-elect and Reps-elect took steps to ensure open contests while rejecting Akpabio and Abass.
Indeed, some of the speakership aspirants, known as G7, who dismissed the zoning template as a ‘Lagos Affair,’ have started wooing the 181 opposition parties’ members-elect with the deputy speakership and headship of ‘juicy’ committees.
Conversely, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, has also met the “Joint Task” group, and some APC loyalists to back Abass, who on his part is reaching to out to other aspirants.
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Senators-elect, Reps-elect move for open contest
On the heels of the zoning template, some Senators-elect and Reps-elect have called for an open contest to determine leaders of the legislative arm of government.
This came as seven speakership aspirants who formed the G-7 have reached out to other opposition lawmakers-elect.
The G-7 aspirants equally dangled the position of Deputy Speaker and juicy committee leadership positions to the opposition lawmakers-elect if the plan sails through.
The move by the G-7 aspirants is said to be unsettling the party leadership.
Zoning seen as a Lagos affair
A leader of the party said that those opposed to the zoning formula are calling for an open contest.
The source said: “The verdict by aspirants is there should be an open contest. As far as the House of Representatives is concerned, the zoning will not stand. Look at Akeredolu’s statement. If a governor is coming out, that means the governors were not consulted. Some NWC members were also not consulted. The whole thing has thrown people into confusion.
As far as we are concerned, the President-elect, Tinubu does not know anything about it. The whole thing should not be a Lagos affair because some people are trying to impose National Assembly leaders on the party.”
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