A coalition of 500 civil rights groups, under the auspices of the New Nigeria Agenda Coalition (NNAC), has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to compensate the North Central with key positions in his cabinet.
In a statement signed by Mary Odoma, the coalition demanded that the role of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation should be given to the region.
Odoma lamented that the North Central suffered neglect by successive governments and has not had a fair share of the political fortunes of the country.
She said: “The North Central Zone had been sociopolitically marginalized and unfairly treated in terms of infrastructural development.
“They have not been fairly treated. Politically, they have been abandoned. They are neither here nor there in the core north or core south political calculations.
“They are hardly noticed even though the zone has always delivered bloc votes for the APC during elections.”
The coalition said the zoning arrangement for the 10th National Assembly reaffirmed this sentiment.
Odoma, however, said Tinubu has the opportunity to correct this ill by appointing someone from North Central as his SGF.
She said only this will give the people of the zone a sense of belonging, especially with the ruling party’s same faith ticket.
While admitting that the North Central parades some of the best brains in the country, Odoma said former Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong is tailor-made for the job.
“On this note, we wish to put forward Rt Hon Simon Lalong as the most suited for the job of SGF,” Odoma added.
“He has the qualities, experience and capacity for the assignment. This is a governor for eight years, and a state assembly speaker for eight years also.
“In the last 16 years, Mr Lalong has shown exceptional leadership qualities. He worked closely with the President during the campaigns and has a firm grip on the Renewed Hope Agenda.
“As one of the leading voices from the 19 northern states, we, therefore, believe that Lalong will excel in this role and make the North Central proud”.