A pressure and lobby group, Justice Advocacy Group (JAG), has advised the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to give political offices in the 9th Assembly to reflect regional balancing.
In a statement today, Monday by the coordinator, Akintunde Lawal, the group said that Nigeria cannot afford a repeat of the feud that characterized the eighth assembly where the leadership of the National Assembly and the executive could not work together in the interest of the nation.
“Now that APC has won the elections, the critical issues should be how the APC will deliver to the electorates the dividends of democracy.
“So what the party leaders need to do is to allocate key offices to respect geopolitical sensitivity and standing among geopolitical zones,” he said.
Lawal advised that the party should guide against the crisis that characterized the 8th assembly, stressing that the incoming legislature cannot afford any unnecessary feisty political relationship with the executive and to forestall this, the APC leadership must do what is right.
“There must be justice and fairness as enshrined in the constitution of the party and Nigerian constitution”
“As it is now, the North West has the President while the South West has the Vice President and the National Leader of the APC leaving Four Zones bare.
“So it is incumbent on the party to reflect political balancing in considering the leadership of the 9th Assembly.
“All the zones must be considered on the basis of equity as enshrined in the APC constitution.”
He referred to section 14, sub section 1;1c;3 & 4 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as ammended) and article 7; sub (i); (ii); (ix) (xii) of the APC’s Constitution, and warned that the party should comply with the provisions.
He noted that ceding the positions to the appropriate zones “would not amount to sacrificing competence but strengthening the foundation of democracy in the country.
“It is important that every geopolitical zone in the country has a sense of belonging,” stressing further that politics “also recognizes the number of votes and therefore every zone must be recognized on the basis of their contributions to the party”.
In the just concluded Presidential election the North West APC comprising seven states produced 5, 995, 651 representing 72.45% of the votes cast; North East comprising six states produced 3,238,783 votes representing 74.36%; North Central comprising six dates produced 2,465,599 votes representing 54.92%; South West comprising six states produced 2,036,450 votes representing 53.41%; South East comprising five states produced 403, 968 votes representing 19.26% and South South comprising six states produced 1,051,396 votes representing 32.01%.
Lawal said that “if APC goes into the election of principal officers in the National Assembly with a divided house, it will be detrimental not only to the party but the 9th Assembly.
“It must be noted that a divided APC will be very vulnerable and the opposition parties can spring surprises during the elections yet again suggesting that the APC would not have allowed experience to be the best teacher.
“President Buhari and the leadership of the party will do well to consider the implications of a repeat of the scenario of the last four years.”