Fred Itua, Abuja
AS contention for principal officers’ position for the Senate gain momentum, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senator from the South East, Chukwuka Utazi, has said it would be unfair to leave out the entire South East.
Utazi, who heads the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, said since elections were over, every part of the country should be carried along.
He said the victor must not take everything in a democracy, insisting that the famous 97 versus five percent must not be repeated going forward.
“In a contest, there must be a winner. Elections are over and this is the time to bring everyone together. Leaving out the entire South East in sharing of positions in the National Assembly is not in the interest of the country.
“I think the APC should even carry the South East along so that next time, they will have the legitimacy to ask for votes in the area. To just shut them out as if they don’t matter is unfair.
“Nigeria belongs to all of us. The South East is an important part of Nigeria and it cannot be ignored. This is part of the things we have been clamouring for. We have spoken against the marginalisation of the South East. It breeds unnecessary bad blood and I think we don’t need that again in this country.”
Another PDP senator-elect who pleaded not to be named, said the ruling APC should adopt the power sharing formula and zoning arrangements of his party.
According to him, when the PDP held sway for 16 years, no geopolitical zone was deliberately left out.
He further argued that if every geopolitical zone is well represented, unnecessary agitations and certain misgivings against the Federal Government would fizzle out.
He said zoning the office of the deputy senate president to the South East would show that APC is ready for business.
While the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has officially zoned the Senate presidency to the North East, it is yet to announce, which part of the country would produce the deputy president.
Notwithstanding, six contenders: Orji Uzor Kalu (APC, Abia); Francis Alimekhena (APC, Edo); Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta); Oluremi Tinubu (APC, Lagos); Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano) and Ike Ekweremadu (PDP, Enugu), have already signified interest for for the office.
Daily Sun gathered from multiple sources in the APC that the National Working Committee (NWC) headed by Adams Oshiomhole, may soon unveil the zoning of other key positions in the National Assembly.
One of the sources said Oshiomhole has met with governors of the party, ranking senators and other stakeholders to discuss ways to ensure that no part of the country is left out in the power sharing arrangements.
He said the South-east and South-south were being considered for the position of the deputy president of the Senate.
President Muhammadu Buhari is from North West, while his vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, hails from South West. Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, are from North East.
The current President of the Senate is from the North Central. Until recently, the South-south had the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN). The National Chairman of APC, Oshiomhole hails from the South-south.
The situation leaves the South-east as the only geopolitical zone which has no ranking government official in the hierarchy of power in the country.