George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
The National President of Christians and Muslims Peace Advocacy and Enlightenment Initiative (CAMPAEI), Iwu Maurice Ogbu, has said that the decision of the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on zoning the speakership of the ninth House of Representatives lacks political equity and is at odds with the ideal of national integration.
He noted that offering the position to the South West, already occupying the office of the Vice President, is according to him a deliberate ploy by the ruling party to further marginalize the South East, stressing that such an action does not promote equity, justice, peace and national unity.
Ogbu futher argued that even if the South East gets the position of the Deputy Senate President, it would not compensate for the loss of the speakership of the House of Representatives.
Mr Ogbu stated this while addressing newsmen in Owerri, the Imo state capital over the weekend. His organisation, he said, stands for the peace and unity of the country, and is against the decision of the national leadership of the APC regarding the House of Representatives speakership.
“We have six geopolitical zones and in the sharing of key political positions in the country it is expected that all the geopolitical zones should be considered. And this has been the practice since the return of democratic rule in 1999, and it was simply done for national integration by the former ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and I think that is what the APC should do,” Ogbu suggested.
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the position is officially zoned to the South East for political inclusion which, he said, will change the erroneous perception of the people of the region that the APC is biased towards the North and South West.
“I want to urge president Buhari, who is the leader of the APC, to change the erroneous perception of the people of the South East east that the APC is only meant for the North and South West by ensuring that the position of the Speakership is given to the South East because they have ranking members who are members of the APC. Even if the South East finally gets the Deputy Senate President position, it is not on the same pedestal with the Speaker, who is the number five person in political ranking in the country.”