A chieftain of the Arewa Consultative Forum(ACF), Musa Saidu, says the South-east region of Nigeria cannot get the Senate Presidency of the 10th National Assembly because it “failed to learn from its past mistakes”.
Mr Saidu, also the leader of the Arewa Community in Southern Nigeria, said this when he spoke with the News Agency of Nigeriaon Tuesday in Abuja.
“I want to say without fear of contradiction that the South-east has no justification to start asking for the Senate Presidency of the 10th National Assembly because it is not part of those who voted for the APC.
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“The South-east can’t be in contention for the Senate Presidency because its people didn’t vote for the APC,” he said.
Mr Saidu was reacting to the demand by the South-east Senate Caucus that the APC zone the position to the region for fairness and justice.
“You are talking about fairness and justice when you didn’t even vote for the APC during the 2023 general election.
“Other zones voted massively for the party and the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, while you decided to give your votes entirely to the Labour Party.
“How can you come out to say that the President-elect should zone the Senate Presidency to South-east when you didn’t vote for him?.
“Supposing he didn’t win the election, would he be in the position to zone the Senate Presidency?” he said.
Mr Saidu said the South-east had a similar problem with President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 when it demanded the position of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
“When you ganged up to defeat the APC even in the stronghold of the president-elect, what were you thinking of?
“The Senate Presidency is not for free; you have to work for it.
“You are calling for equity and fairness, but you decided to concentrate your votes for LP. Is there fairness in that?
“I think that the zoning of the Senate Presidency to South-south is not entirely a bad idea because the zone performed better in terms of voting for the APC in the last election,” he said.
Senate South-East Caucus’ position
The Senate South-East Caucus, on 7 May urged the APC to zone the Senate Presidency of the 10th Assembly to the region for fairness and justice.
Reading the communique at the end of a meeting in Abuja, Ifeanyi Ubah (YPP-Anambra) also urged the President-elect to ensure the position was zoned to the South-east.
“The incoming administration of Tinubu must correct this anomaly by ensuring that the Southeast is given the opportunity to produce the next Senate President.
“The President-elect should be sensitive to the times in Nigeria and ensure the country continues to thrive on the part of equity, unity and fairness to the tripod of Nigeria (Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba) and the geopolitical zones.
“With the side-lining of the South-east from producing the Presidential candidates of the major political parties before the general elections, the only means through which the zone can be compensated and given a sense of belonging is for the zone to produce the next Senate President.
“This will restore the confidence of the people from the South-east and South-south geo-political zones and indeed all Nigerians in the unity of the country.”
He added: “The APC must rise above primordial and political interest.
“It must also shun the winner, take it all syndrome and pursue ethnoreligious inclusivity and a strong, virile, united, progressive, prosperous, equitable and just democratic nation.
“The South-east has been denied the chance of producing the president of Nigeria since 1966.
“The South-south has produced a president for six years and also had a Deputy Senate President in the outgoing administration.”
“The only zone in the south that has not been favoured is the South-east.
“The South-West has the president; the North-east has the Vice-President. It is only just that the least position at the moment that can assuage the South-east is given the chance to be the president of the 10th Senate”.