Kalu, Yari, others join protest of APC NWC zoning decision, anointed candidates
Several All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders elected into the National Assembly on Thursday joined the protest of the National Working Committee (NWC) decision to zone the leadership of the 10th National Assembly and nominated presiding officers for the two chambers of the federal legislature.
Some senators, who include Abdulaziz Yari from Zamfara State, Orji Kalu from Abia State, including Mohammed Musa, Sadiq Umar, among others, on Thursday took their protest to APC NWC members at the national Secretariat, Abuja, who include APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu; National Secretary, Iyiola Omisore; and National Women Leader, Beta Edu, to express their displeasure over the zoning decision.
An aspirant for the Senate President, Orji Kalu, current Chief Whip, protested that the APC should not rely on number of votes each zone delivered in the victory of the President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in zoning the leadership of the yet-to-be inaugurated National Assembly. He argued that a zone which delivered low votes in the last election could deliver a large number of votes to the party in future elections.
Yari, presenting the protest letter of the Senators-elect to the APC National Chairman, Adamu, demanded that the party leadership review the zoning decision to ensure justice and equity.
The APC leadership on Monday zoned the presiding officer of the 10th National Assembly, giving the Senate President to the South-South, and endorsing Senator Godswill Akpabio, Akwa Ibom State for the senate president; zoning the deputy senate president to the North West, and endorsing Senator Barau Jibrin, Kano State.
The APC NWC also zoned the Speaker of the House of Representatives to the North West, endorsing Abass Tajudeen, Kaduna State; and the Deputy Speaker to the South East, endorsing Ben Kalu, Abia State.
Outside the National Assembly, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, also joined the protest, arguing that the zoning is “an unworkable and skewed arrangement that reinforces injustice”.
Lawmakers from the House of Representatives, forming an alliance, the Coalition of Progressive Speakership Aspirants (COPSA), had on Wednesday, presented their protest letter to the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, at the national secretariat, expressing their disapproval of the NWC zoning decision and endorsement of presiding officers for the legislators. The protesting House members include Deputy Speaker Idris Wase, Muktar Betara, Sada Soli, Aminu Sani Jaji, Yusuf Gagdi, Miriam Unuoha, among others.
The lawmakers were protesting the endorsement of Tajudeen Abbas from Kaduna State as consensus candidate for the speakers of the 10th House of Representatives.
Wase at the meeting with Adamu and NWC members, protested: “We are people who have been aspiring for the office of speakership for the House of Representatives at the 10th National Assembly.
“We recall that at the meeting at the Villa, you asked us to slow down for the APC zoning arrangement.
“We feel betrayed as if our contributions aren’t recognised as if we aren’t members of this party.”
APC National Chairman, Adamu, thereafter, promised that the party leadership will look into their complaints and the zoning decision.
Some other APC stakeholders, like former Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, also assured that whatever error that might have been made in the zoning would be corrected.