• 10th NASS: APC zoning of Speaker undemocratic, says ex-lawmaker

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    A former member of the House of Representatives, Abubakar Chika, has condemned the exclusion of other aspirants in the race for the Speaker of the 10th Assembly, saying a consensus candidate is undemocratic.

    Chika, who represented Shiroro/Rafi/Munya Federal Constituency of Niger state, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the choice of the leadership of the House is solely the responsibility of members-elect, urging the All Progressives Congress to tread softly.

    He said, “If the issue of zoning had been done democratically, the party would have deemed it fit to carry other contenders along.

    ”All the major contestants have said that there is no way the party will zone the Speaker without carrying them along,” he said.

    He discredited the exclusion of the North-Central and the North-East where the APC got the majority of its votes, adding that the North-Central alone gave the APC over 40 per cent of the total vote in the North.
    He said if the North-Central could deliver such votes, they deserved to be considered in the race and not abandoned for other zones.

    “The APC should know that it does not have the majority, particularly in House of Reps. The minority is greater in number and with that, you cannot dictate to members.

    “The law did not say APC member-elect must be the speaker but the law say, member must choose among themselves, so if APC becomes very careless as a single party even as a majority other people will take it up, he said.

    He urged the leadership of the APC to rethink, adding that the manner in which the party is going about it could backfire.

    “We are not in a military administration; we are in a democratic administration.

    “If you cannot allow zoning to take place because you want to balance certain things, then you cannot nano-zone the position of the national assembly.

    “This is carelessness. And if Mr President-elect wants to govern Nigeria well, he should be able to take a stand right now,” Chika told NAN.

    NAN reports that the National Working Committee of the APC on May 8 released the zoning arrangement as Senate President – South-South, Senator Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); Deputy Senate President – (North West), Senator Barau Jubrin (Kano).

    Others are the Speaker, House of Representatives North-West, Abass Tajudeen (Kaduna); Deputy Speaker (South-East), and Ben Kalu (Abia).

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