Reasons why North May End up With Four Top Posts in Govt – Read More

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As the unlikelihood of the All Progressives Congress (APC) being able to enforce a zoning formula that would ensure the equitable distribution of key posts in the incoming administration becomes more apparent, there is a major likelihood that the Northern section of the country would account for the four topmost positions in the country.

These are the presidency, which will be occupied by Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), the post of Senate President, that of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Chief Justice of the Federation (CJN).

Should this scenario play out, the entire Southern section of the country would end up with the posts of deputies starting from the vice-presidency to the deputy speakership, which could create a problem, as it contravenes the federal character clause enshrined in the constitution.

Sources in the APC informed THISDAY that with the “Tambuwal syndrome” gathering pace in the National Assembly, the chances are very high that the legislators would jettison whatever zoning formula that may be determined by the party and decide on key leaders of their choice.

The Tambuwal syndrome arose in 2011 when members of the House of Representatives ignored the zoning formula of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which had zoned the post of speakership and the deputy to the South-west and North-east geopolitical zones, respectively.

Instead, its members – Hon. Aminu Tambuwal and Hon. Emeka Ihedioha – respectively from the North-west and South-east, contested for the posts and emerged speaker and deputy speaker of the House with the help of their colleagues from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at the time.

An APC source said that as it stands, with the party unable to determine a generally acceptable zoning formula, this has provided the leeway for legislators to close ranks and back candidates of their choice.

He said that while the North-east and North-cental zones are angling for the Senate presidency, the South-west and North-east have entered the trenches in the battle for the speakership in the House.

The two main contenders for the Senate presidency are Senators Bukola Saraki from the North-central zone and Ahmed Lawan from the North-east, so should any of them emerge, the North would have clinched the post, the APC source explained.

For the speakership, the main contenders are Femi Gbajabiamila from the South-west and Yakubu Dogara from the North-east, with the latter having the clear edge over his South-west rival for the post.

The APC source said whichever way one looks at it, the North could end up holding all the four key positions in the incoming administration if care is not taken and the South, particularly the South-west which played a vital role in Buhari’s victory, playing second fiddle.

Meanwhile, 22 governors of the APC met with the leadership of the party led by the National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun last night in Abuja to try and broker an acceptable zoning formula for the incoming government.

The governors, who met on the platform of the Progressives Governor’s Forum (PGF) started arriving at the venue, the Imo Governors Lodge at about 7.30 pm.

THISDAY gathered that the meeting of the governors with Oyegun and other key party leaders was consultative and aimed at sharing thoughts on how best the party and the president-elect will go about forming a new administration.

According to a source at the meeting, Oyegun who is a member of a select group appointed to help resolve the impasse that had arisen from the zoning of political offices, used the opportunity to inform the governors about the proposals from the party leadership on the zoning formula and ministerial appointments.

Oyegun also tried to get the opinion of the governors on some of the contentious issues to determine their interests and see if their positions could be accommodated in the final blueprint to be forwarded for approval.

There were indications that the party leadership may have reached a truce on most of the issues relating to how the ministerial appointments would be made.

But the issue of zoning of principal offices of the National Assembly was kept for further consultations with Buhari and other top party leaders.

The governors will today pay a visit to Buhari to congratulate him and will also present their demands for ministerial appointments from their states.

Among the governors in attendance were Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Tanko Al-Makura (Nassarawa), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Oyegun, former Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, Governors-elect Tambuwal (Sokoto), Nasir el-Rufai  (Kaduna), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi) and Jibrilla Bindow (Adamawa).

Saraki and Senator-elect Binta Garba were also sighted at the venue of the meeting though they did not participate. As at press time, the meeting was still in session.

Source: This Day