9th NASS Leadership: South-East APC Members Meet Today, May Reject Zoning

The South East leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is set to meet today in Enugu to take a final decision on the leadership of the National Assembly. The zone has shown interest in the speakership of the House of Representatives and the position of the Deputy Senate President. Some officials of APC in the zone had previously rejected the zoning position adopted by the national leadership of the party, describing such as individual decisions which was not reached through the constitutionally recognised organs of the party. The meeting, called at the instance of the National Vice Chairman of APC, South East zone, Emma Eneukwu, has three items on the agenda.

The major issue the meeting will address will be the harmonisation of the zone’s position with regard to which of the key NASS principal offices in the Senate and House of Representatives the lawmakers from the zone should go for as one political family. Three APC members were declared winners in the just concluded general election. But while only one (Dr. Oji Uzor Kalu, Abia) received certificate of return, two (Rochas Okocha and Ben Uwajumogu, both from Imo), are yet to be issued with certificates of return. Should the two of them succeed in crossing the political huddle before them and receive the certificates of return, it will then mean the South East produced three senators. On the other hand, APC produced two House of Representatives-from the zone in the persons of Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (Abia) and Chike Okafor (Imo). The other two items on the agenda are repositioning APC in the South East after the 2019 general elections and other matters. It will be recalled that the national leadership of APC led by its chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, had announced the zoning of the two top positions in the National Assembly, the Senate President and Speaker of House of Representatives, to the North East and South West, respectively. However, the development has been raising some dust across the country as other lawmakers from other zones have thrown their hat into the ring for the two topmost principal positions.

For instance, the South East zonal leadership of the APC appears to be uncomfortable with the zoning formula adopted by leaders of the party. They are likely to endorse one of their own to run for the House Speakership position or Deputy Senate Presidency position. In the alternative, they are going to demand principal positions in government, like the position of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). Meanwhile, contrary to widespread belief that the party has zoned its National Assembly leadership positions to the various geopolitical zones of the country, the South East zonal Publicity Secretaries of the party have declared that the party has not yet taken any official position with regard to zoning of the positions.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues in an exclusive chat with our correspondent in Enugu, the Anambra State Publicity Secretary of APC, Mr. Okelo Madukaife, stated that none of the constitutionally recognised organ of the party had taken a decision on zoning. He said that what was happening was that some vocal members of the party were trumping the names of their preferred candidates hoping to cow others and have their way. According to the party spokespersons, the South East zonal caucus of the party has resolved to promote the zoning of Senate Presidency and House of Representatives’ Speakership positions to South East.

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