Publicity Secretaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the North East geopolitical zone under the auspices of the APC Forum of Public Relations Officers have aligned with the agitation of the south-east geopolitical zone to produce the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the 9th National Assembly.
The APC spokespersons said their decision to align with the south-east is borne of the fact that all zones of the country should be allowed equal representation in the government in the spirit of fairness and justice.
Speaking at a news conference in Abuja, Coordinator of the Forum, Aaron Artimas said in supporting the Southeast for the Speakership of the House of Representatives, they are not unaware of the zoning of the office and that of the Senate President to the South West and Northeast respectively by the national leadership of the party.
Artimas said the Forum has endorsed Hon. Nkeiruka C. Onyejeocha for the position of speaker, considering her wealth of experience as a four-time member of the House and a former local government Chairman with a lot of grassroot support.
He said: “Many eminent Nigerians have continued to assert that Nigeria’s democracy is still a work in progress. Indeed, this is very true to the extent that in the effort to perfect our union as a Nation, a lot still needs to be done.
“As we all know, Nigeria has always stood on a political tripod, anchored on the three founding political regions, namely, the West, East and the North, which have now been further unofficially devolved into six geopolitical zones. The implication of this is that every political region should be given its own right of equal participation as envisioned by the founding fathers of our country.
“It is in line with this that we the forum of APC Public Relations officers of the North East sub-region wish to align and identify with our counterpart in the southeast in their agitation to shift the post of the Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives to their region.
“The South East APC Public relations officers have already issued a press statement endorsing, Honourable Nkeiruka C. Onyejeocha as Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives.
“A four-time member of the House of Representatives, Honourable Onyejeocha represents many shades of national opinion, especially the much talked about the gender issue.
“Put together with her rich political background as a grass root politician, a former Local Government Chairman and an effective legislator, she is eminently qualified to represent her zone and to serve the country as a whole.
“We are not unaware of the perceived or unofficial zoning of the positions of the Senate President and the Speaker House of Representatives to the North East and the South West respectively. While this policy remains a political decision, we still believe that the ultimate decision to this effect remains a function of members of the National Assembly.
“As party officials, we are not opposed to the presumptive position taken by the national leadership of our party. But, we strongly believe that no decision is exhaustive or final, because of the imperative to look into the various sides of the new arguments regarding the zoning of the National Assembly Leadership.
“The South East is craving for better participation and representation in the present political dispensation. The major crux of their demand is to enable the party to grow in that region going forward. This has nothing to do with the presumed low patronage of the party in the region.
“We believe that it is very appropriate to give them this wonderful opportunity so as to carry all parts of the country along. It is for this reason that we hereby declare our solidarity with the South East in their quest to shift the leadership of the House of Representatives to the zone.
“It will please us greatly if the National Leadership of our party and indeed other leaders of the party will take a second look at its perceived position in this regard.”