Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the North-Central zone in the House of Representatives have called on the ruling party to zone the position of the speaker to their zone.
The lawmakers made the demand at a press conference after the plenary on Tuesday.
Speaking on behalf of the caucus, John Dyegh (Benue, APC) said their call was in the spirit of equity and justice.
He was accompanied by only four others, while he signed the speech “for and on behalf of the APC North-Central Caucus.”
“We, the members of the North-Central Caucus of the All Progressives Congress in the House of Representatives, called this briefing to express our position with respect to the leadership position of the ninth Assembly.”
“You are not unaware of the interest the issue of the leadership of the next assembly has generated in the public space. We want to use this medium to acknowledge the supremacy of our party, the APC, in addressing the issue of zoning of positions in an equitable, just and fair manner that will foster unity and cordial relations among members of our party and our colleagues from the other political divides.”
“We are confident of the ability and capacity of the national leadership of the APC to do what is right to all in order to advance national cohesion, balance of power and federal character.”
“It is in this regard that we humbly wish to appeal to our great party, the APC, to strongly consider the North-Central geopolitical zone for the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 9th Assembly.”
The lawmaker said giving the slot to the North-Central zone would satisfy and advance the cause of equity “since the North-West and the South-West already have the president and vice-president positions, respectively.”
He added that apart from the North-West and the North-East, the North-Central “delivered handsomely for the party in the general elections and as such needs to be rewarded for the hard work and loyalty.”
“The need to ensure balance and spread between and among the six geopolitical zones has made it imperative to give prime consideration to the North-Central zone to produce the position of the speaker. Being the zone with delicate and peculiar location and challenges within the federation, it is of utmost importance to carry us along in the hierarchy of power distribution in the country as this will in no small measure, help in stabilising the polity.”
The incoming 9th National Assembly may still throw up old foes in the contest of Speakership of the House of Representatives.
In 2015, Yakubu Dogara representing Dass/Bogoro/Tafa Belewa Federal Constituency of Bauchi State edged out Femi Gbajabiamila representing Surelere Federal Constituency of Lagos State despite the preference of the APC leadership for the latter.
There are however other factors such as political parties and zoning that will shape the contest in June.
Members from different parts of the country have indicated interest for the number four seat in the country.