The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has urged the All Progressives Congress (APC) to zone the Senate Presidency of the 10th National Assembly to either the South-east or South-south.
The National Chairman of IPAC, Sani Yabagi, said this when he read the communique issued after the council general assembly meeting on Thursday in Abuja.
“To ensure federal character as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, and ethno-religious balancing, the senate president should be zoned to the South-east or South-south geo-political zones.
“The candidate that will emerge will address the required ethno-religious balancing.
“In view of the fact that the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Vice President-elect, Alhaji Kashim Shettima and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola are all of the same faith, this will help to restore confidence of the people from the South-east and South-south geo-political zones and indeed all Nigerians in the unity of the country,” Mr Yabagi said.
He said there was historic precedence for such when Olusegun Obasanjo-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration in 1999 deliberately zoned the senate presidency to the South-east.
Mr Yabagi said the decision ensured that every zone was accommodated in the power sharing equation thereby helping to calm frayed nerves and peace throughout Obasanjo’s eight years administration.
“IPAC calls on all relevant stakeholders to embark on deliberate actions that will help to reconcile, heal and unite the nation.
“This will eliminate the winner takes all syndrome and further ethno-religious inclusivity and a strong, virile, united, progressive, prosperous, equitable and just democratic nation.
“This is without prejudice to the ongoing Election Petitions at various election petition tribunals in the country,” he said.
Mr Yabagi expressed concern over the ethno-religious sentiments that characterised the selection of Presidential candidates for the 2023 general election.
He said the IPAC was also concerned about campaigns which adversely polarised the nation and undermined issues-based campaigns that would have strengthened frail electoral processes.
“Nigerians witnessed the worst campaign since 1999 when democracy was restored in the country.
“IPAC is strongly determined to stop the dastardly do-or-die politics, garrison politics, ethno-religious profiling and stomach infrastructure that have impeded our hard-earned democracy and impoverished the masses who sold their votes for a mess of electoral porridge.”
Mr Yabagi called for more appointments of women and youth in government as the most vibrant demographic groups in the country.
He said that the continued marginalisation of women and youth in the previous and incumbent governments must stop forthwith, saying no nation made progress without the active participation of women and youth.
“Women involvement in the 2023 general election was an eloquent testimony of their preparedness to serve the fatherland and should be given the opportunity to do so.”
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