By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA: The All Progressives Congress APC in the Northeast has thrown its weight behind agitations by the Southeast to get the national leadership of the party to zone the Office of Speaker, House of Representatives to its side.
At a news conference yesterday in Abuja, the Northeast Forum of APC State Publicity Secretaries specifically adopted the candidacy of Hon. Nkeiruka C. Onyejeocha as Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives.
“As we all know, Nigeria has always stood on a political tripod, anchored on by the three founding political regions, namely, the West, East and the North, which have now been further unofficially devolved into six geopolitical zones. The implication of this, is that every political region should be given its own right of equal participation as envisioned by the founding fathers of our country.
“It is in line with all above that we the forum of APC Public Relations officers of the North East sub-region wish to align and identify with our counterpart in the southeast in their agitation to shift the post of the Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives to their region. The South East APC Public Relations Officers have already issued a press statement endorsing, Honourable Nkeiruka C. Onyejeocha as Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives.
A four-time member of the House of Representatives, Honourable Onyejeocha represents many shades of national opinion, especially the much talked about gender issue. Put together with her rich political background as a grassroots politician, a former Local Government Chairman and an effective legislator, she is eminently qualified to represent her zone and to serve the country as a whole”, they said at the conference addressed by Aaron Artimas, Coordinator, North East APC Forum of Public Relations Officers.
The forum said it was not unaware of the “perceived or unofficial zoning” of the positions of the Senate President and the Speaker House of Representatives to the North East and the South West respectively. “While this policy remains a political decision, we still believe that the ultimate decision to this effect, remains a function of members of the National Assembly.
“As party officials, we are not opposed to the presumptive position taken by the National Leadership of our party, but we strongly believe that no decision is exhaustive or final, because of the imperative to look into the various sides of the new arguments regarding the zoning of the National Assembly Leadership.
“The South East is craving for better participation and representation in the present political dispensation. The major crux of their demand is to enable the party to grow in that region going forward. This has nothing to do with the presumed low patronage of the party in the region. We believe that it is very appropriate to give them this wonderful opportunity so as to carry all parts of the country along.
“It is for this reason that we hereby declare our solidarity with the South East in their quest to shift the leadership of the House of Representatives to the zone. It will please us greatly, if the National Leadership of our party and indeed other leaders of the party will take a second look at its perceived position in this regard”, the forum added.