Coalition Demands Zoning Of Senate Presidency To South-South
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A socio-political group, Coalition for Good Governance and Economic Justice in Africa has called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the president-elect Bola Tinubu to ensure that the position of the Senate President is zoned to South-South region for national unity, equity and fairness. The coalition made the call yesterday at a press conference in Abuja.
It said that under the prevailing circumstances, it strongly believe that the incoming president Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the APC can only satisfy the necessary need to balance ethnic, regional, and religious concerns by ceding the Senate Presidency and Speakership to other religions,” the chief convener, Prince Kasim Afebgua said, adding, “In the light of this, we appeal to the leadership of the ruling party, the APC, and the President-elect to cede the Senate President to the South-South geopolitical zone.”
Afegbua said South-South geopolitical zone occupies a very formidable and remarkable consideration as the treasure base of the country that ought to be accorded special recognition to compensate for all her sacrifices thus far.
He argued that the economic importance of the zone and its strategic relevance to stabilising the politics of the nation, cannot be over-emphasised, adding that in the last election, the APC, was able to make serious in-roads into the zone that has been under the threshold of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Afegbua and his team believe that Nigeria must honour this ideal to preserve her unity and ensure stability.
“It is, therefore, incumbent upon the next administration to take deliberate steps to assuage the fears of many and re-affirm its own commitment to fairness, social justice, and equitable distribution of power amongst the geopolitical zones,” he stated.
He said that Senate President is and has always been an opportunity to balance ethnic, regional, and religious concerns in Nigeria. “The need for balancing that algorithm, is more compelling now, in view of our present history and shared commitment,” he added.
The coalition said with the South-West already out of the context, South-East cannot lay hold on the position because the zone had occupied the seat of senate president on five occasions, for eight years, and deputy senate president position for 12 years, in the last 24 years of Nigeria’s return to civil rule.
The South East produced the Senate President on five different occasions. Senators Enwerem, Okadigbo, Wabara, Anyim, and Nnamani, all held sway as presidents of the Senate in the present Fourth Republic.
One of the co-conveners Cletus Obun said the South-South region stood firm and contributed a significant percentage of votes to Tinubu’s victory, a major reason he said the zone should be considered. The APC came first in Rivers State and claimed over 45 percent of the total number of votes in the other five states.
“With the foregoing, it would be an act of injustice to accord privilege to the South-East over the South-South for the Senate Presidency. It would amount to the party giving one of its biggest prizes to a geopolitical zone that contributed the least to its victory,” Afegbua said. “This is damaging for any party with future plans to maintain its hold on power.”