APC Zoning Controversy: Northern Senators’ Rebellion Imperils Party Unity

According to Punch report, in a significant development within the All Progressives Congress (APC), senators from the northern region of Nigeria, particularly those elected on the party’s platform, have issued a threat to revolt against the party if the controversial zoning template for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly is not revisited. This move has the potential to create a major rift within the party and impact its stability and unity.

The issue at hand revolves around the allocation of key leadership positions within the National Assembly based on a zoning formula. The template, which was proposed by the APC, allocated the Senate Presidency to the North-East, the Deputy Senate Presidency to the South-South, the Speaker of the House of Representatives to the North-West, and the Deputy Speaker to the South-East. The party claimed that these decisions were in line with the choices of President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

However, the controversy stems from the exclusion of the North-Central geopolitical zone from the arrangement, which has drawn criticism and opposition from the senators representing that region. The 18 senators-elect from the North-Central have expressed their dissatisfaction with the zoning formula and have demanded a review of the decision.

Additionally, several aspirants for the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives from different regions, including the North-West, North-East, North-Central, and South-East, have also rejected the zoning formula and sought redress. They argue that the template is undemocratic and unconstitutional, as it assigns positions based on individuals’ names rather than considering regional representation.

In response to the brewing discontent, the Senator Abdullahi Adamu-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC organized an emergency meeting with the aggrieved Senate presidency contenders. The meeting aimed to address their concerns and find a resolution to the growing crisis. However, the NWC emphasized that any decision regarding the zoning template would require the input of President-Elect Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who was currently out of the country.

During the meeting, the aggrieved senators made their grievances known. Senator Abdulaziz Yari, a former Governor of Zamfara State, warned that the entire North would revolt if the current zoning formula is not revised. He emphasized the importance of justice in the party’s decision-making process and urged the NWC members to stand up to President-Elect Tinubu if necessary.

Senator Orji Kalu, speaking on behalf of the South-East region, highlighted the need for fairness and reasonable representation. He called for a review of the zoning formula, suggesting that it should be based on geographical zones rather than individual names. Kalu emphasized the party’s need to consider the South-East’s aspirations for a significant leadership position in the National Assembly.

Senator Sani Musa, representing the North-Central zone, echoed the concerns raised by his colleagues. He stressed the importance of internal democracy within the party and criticized the lack of consultations in the decision-making process. Musa urged the party leadership to rectify the injustice and ensure a fair distribution of positions among the different geopolitical zones.

In response, Senator Adamu expressed responsibility for the controversy and assured the contestants that the NWC would reevaluate the zoning formula. He acknowledged the need for further consultations and emphasized the importance of considering President-Elect Tinubu’s input in the decision-making process. Adamu urged the contestants to hold their fire until a final decision is reached.

Credit : Punch

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