Reps speakership : Don’t treat Igbo as slaves, Ohanaeze youths tell APC
By Steve Oko
As intrigues and debate over the sharing formula for the principal officers of the National Assembly have continued to generate tension, the youth wing of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has cautioned the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC against sidelining the Igbo.
Ohanaeze Youths said “it is a big insult and an affront to the Igbo tribe that the South East geopolitical zone is not in the consideration of APC for any key principal position in the 9th National Assembly leadership”.
Deputy National Youth Leader of Ohanaeze, Dr. Kingsley Dozie who spoke with journalists after his weeding in Umuahia, weekend, frowned at the non-inclusion of South East on the list of zones to produce the presiding officers of the 9th assembly.
Recall that the APC leadership backed by the Presidency has already endorsed Senator Amed Lawan (North East) for Senate President; and Femi Gbajamila (South West) for the Speaker House of Representatives.
Peeved by this development, Dozie queried the justification in zoning the presiding officers of the National Assembly to regions “that already have a fair share.”
He contended that since the President and Vice President came from the North, and West respectively, ” justice and equity demand that either the Senate President or Speaker of the House of Representatives should come from South East “.
Dozie further argued that “since APC has already zoned the Senate Presidency to North East and the Deputy to South South, South East should be allowed to produce the Speaker of the House of Representatives.”
“If they say we have no ranking senator from their party will they also say we don’t have qualified APC members in the House of Representatives where one of them is returned for the fourth term? “
He said that “Nigeria stands on the tripod of Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba “, hence the distribution of political offices “should reflect this equilibrium without excluding the minorities also.”
Accusing APC of an orchestrated plan to exclude South East from Nigeria’s power bloc, Dozie said any attempt to relegate Ndigbo to the background would not succeed.
“Ndigbo are not visitors in Nigeria and we cannot be treated as second class citizens .
“We are not slaves and can never be. Nigeria belongs to us all and this is a fact everybody must learn to live with “.
Dozie urged members of the National Assembly to ceed the speakership position to the South East to foster unity and national cohesion.
Meanwhile some of the dignitaries at his weeding ceremony included the National President of Ohanaeze, Nnia Nwodo; the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu; and Senator Theodore Orji.
Others were Senator Hope Uzodinma, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, and Deputy Senate President, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu represented in proxy.