You make us liars before our people, S’East APC group tells party
*Insists on house of reps speakership
By Steve Oko
Peeved by the obvious move by some power hawks in the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, to sideline the South East geopolitical zone in the political power equilibrium of the country, a group known as South-East Renaissance, has warned the party against the grave implications of such action.
The group specifically reminded APC that its negligible attitude towards South East was the reason the zone is pandering towards the main opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP which has accorded it a fair recognition in political power distribution.
According to the group APC’s unfair attitude to South East is rather the reason the zone seems unwilling to key into the ruling party.
It queried the wisdom in APC’s tactlful denial of South East of any principal position in the 9th National Assembly.
The group said the party’s unfriendly attitude towards South East frustrates the efforts of the party chieftains from the zone in convincing the people to support the party.
The group said it is unthinkable that APC would expect South East to be happy when it had carefully excluded the zone from its zoning arrangement for principal officers of the National Assembly.
In a statement read by its Convener, Hon. Chris-lance O. Onyemechara, at a news conference yesterday in Abuja, the group argued that the only way APC could pacify and regain the confidence of the South East zone was to cede the speakership of the House of Representatives to it.
The group without equivocations, accused the Southwest bloc of the party of avarice, saying that “having gotten the position of the Vice President, it would be inconsiderate to again seek to produce the Speaker of the House of Representatives.”
The group said since the party leadership had zoned the Senate presidency to the Northeast, “the more plausible thing to do is to allow the Southeast produce the Speaker”.
The statement further read :”From established political norms and antecedents, in the spirit of natural justice and equity, what we thought our party would have naturally bequeathed us, the Senate Presidency or the Speakership of the House of Representatives are now subjects of political contention and controversy.
“However, now that the party in its wisdom has decided to zone the Senate President position to the North-East, we strongly believe that the just and equitable thing for our party to do is to zone the Speakership of the House of Representatives to the South-East.
” Instead, what we see rankles our sense of justice and distorts the pattern of fair sharing as intended by the Federal Character clause in our constitution.
“A situation where the same geopolitical zone which produced the Vice President of the country and the national leader of our party is seen scheming and demanding, with a bloated sense of entitlement, the Speakership of the House of Representatives, smacks of political avarice, brazen injustice and grave disservice to good conscience”,
Other signatories to the statement are Prince Magnus Okeke, Chukwukadibia Kalu, Collins Ohagwam, Ozochi Mmadi, Chikwelu Nnabuife and Ozobia Ifeanyi.
According to the group, ” many years after the civil war, South-East and indeed the former eastern region comprising the lgbo, ltsekiri, lbibio, Tiv, Idoma, Jukun and many others are still faced with rejection, denials, deprivations and exclusion of political and socio-economic ramifications.
“Regrettably, this scenario continues to fuel and amplify the voice of few of our agitating brothers who purport to seek the end of the union, in the absence of fairness and justice.
“Leaders of our great party, the APC always wonder why the people of the South-East pander to the peoples Democratic Party PDP always but the answer stares us in the face.
“The PDP was not founded by an Igbo man, it is not a South-Eastern party but it offered the lgbo man Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Deputy Speaker, IGP, Defence Chief, ambassadors and very senior ministers. Imagine the multiplier effect across the South-East and it becomes just natural that they will pander to the party that embraced and included them in the scheme of things. It also makes it easier for these top functionaries of the PDP to convince and steer their people to supporting the party in every electioneering period.
“But in our case, we are left to swim against the tide. Our assurances to our people that the APC mean well for our people and are willing to integrate us into the mainstream always fall flat on its face because of the attitude of our party to the region.
“In 2015, the APC denied the South-East principal office positions in the National Assembly on the ground that we did not have a ranking member under the APC.
“Four years after, we have produced two ranking members and now our party seems set to shift the goal post again”.
The group warned APC to quickly halt injustices against South East or risk losing the entire zone with the grave political implications of such error.
Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha ,a four -term ranking lawmaker representing Isuikwuato /Umunneochi federal constituency of Abia State is the favourite of the zone for the plum job.
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