While congratulating President Muhammadu Buhari and his team for the landslide victory recorded in the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections held on Saturday 23rd February 2019, it is pertinent to call on the ruling party to begin to map out strategies to have a rancour free National Assembly.
It is no longer news that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will produce the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives when the 9th Assembly of the National Assembly takes off in June.
But What would be news is to hear that the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, was allowed to come from North Central Nigeria
The North Central, against all odds delivered for the APC, particularly Kogi State and by extension Kogi Central where the incumbent member, Hon Tijani Ahmed Damisa who is re-elected for the third time hails from. He is a ranking member of the House of Representatives.
As it stands today the North East is likely to produce the Senate President, while the North West is already having the president and the South West is hosting the Vice President.
To address the looming anomaly, the APC has been advised to zone the position of the Speaker to the North Central geopolitical zone of the country to reflect the principle of federal character as enshrined in the 1999 constitution (as amended).
This were the views of a pro-democracy group in Kogi State led by Comrade Ibrahim Ayimi. The group called on lovers of democracy from Kogi State led by Governor Yahaya Bello to put this in the front burner preparatory to the inauguration of the National Assembly.
The group maintained that it welcomes the positive political revolution brought by the APC and the subsequent re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari and the retirement of the outgoing Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, but however said it is worried that the north central may now be left without anything to hold on to.
However, the North Central and in particular, Kogi State geo-political zone returned at least one ranking and qualified APC House member, Hon Tijani Ahmed Damisa who is a third timer in the Green chamber.
This is a golden opportunity that the APC must not miss to ensure, In the spirit of fairness and adherence to the federal character principle, the position of Speaker, House of Representatives should be zoned to the Third geo-political zone.
The group called on the All Progressive Congress to adhere to the “federal character” principle, which has been enshrined in Nigeria’s Constitution since 1999 . The federal character principle seeks to ensure that appointments to public service institutions fairly reflect the linguistic, ethnic, religious, and geographic diversity of the country.”
Obansa, NUJ Lokoja.