BY EMMA OVUAKPORIE
ABUJA — THE North East caucus in the House of Representatives yesterday supported the zoning formula of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, provided the position of deputy speaker remained in the zone.
This development has automatically thrown a spanner into Rep Aminu Waziri Tambuwal’s aspirations to contest the speakership position in the seventh assembly, barely two weeks from now.
In a statement by the zonal chairman of the caucus, Anthony Madwatte, and secretary, Adamu Gurai, the caucus stated that the North East in a meeting held in the National Assembly resolved as follows:
“The caucus believes that since the zoning arrangement entails that the status quo be maintained that invariably means that the zone should be allowed to produce the next Deputy Speaker a position the zone currently occupies.”
In the statement, it was also resolved that “the caucus supports the zoning arrangement of political offices at the national level which cedes the deputy speakership to the North East zone.
The caucus is of the opinion that any other arrangement that sought to re-zone the office of the deputy speaker to another zone other than North East would amount to total disregard for the entire North East and its contributions to the Nigerian project.
Tambuwal, a top ranking member of the sixth Assembly launched his campaign for the coveted position as the retreat for the newly elected members started early this month and left nobody in doubt that he could sway members to his side.
The South East had equally shown unprecedented interest in the speakership but got its position weakened because it started canvassing for the position a little bit too late.
The North West too had signaled interest in the race but its chances became weakened due to the fact that the post of the VP was already zoned to the region.
The South West PDP had officially zoned the speakership to the South West where Muraina Ajibola and Mulikat Adeola are front runners for the position.
With this new development the Ajibola camp may just start rejoicing as the North East that would have posed a threat to his aspirations has been technically thrown aside for an easy sail for him.