House of Representatives’ members of the All Progressives Congress from the North-Central and South-East zones have condemned their party and accused it of marginalisation.
The leadership of the party had written a letter to the Speaker nominating Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila (South-West) as House Leader, Mohammed Monguno (North-East) as Chief Whip; Alhassan Doguro (North-West) as Deputy Leader; and Pally Iriase (South-East) as Deputy Whip.
In response, the North-Central caucus in the House led by Rep. Ahman Pategi, said that the party’s position was taken without consulting the caucus.
The North Central said they have about 40 members in the House, and as such, they would not allow their zone to be excluded in the sharing of principal positions.
Speaking to journalists after the session on the floor of the House, Pategi said;
“We are also amazed by the directive of the party to the leadership of the House to take necessary action on the purported choice by the party, which we see as a clear usurpation of the powers of the zonal caucuses and their members as guaranteed by the constitution and the standing rules of the House of Representatives.
We, therefore, strongly reject the purported selection by the party which we see as being in conflict with the principle of the federal character as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic.
It will be inconsiderate of the party to consider North-East and South-West that had produced the Speaker and Deputy Speaker for other positions. The exclusion of two zones is not acceptable.”
On behalf of the South-East Caucus of the APC, Austine Chukwukere and John Chike Okeafor, also criticised the attempt by the party to exclude their zone in the process of decision making in the House.
They said: “We can’t stand here and allow the party sweep us out.”
According to Chukwukere, if the South-East was not given an appointment among the principal officers, their representatives would not be able to convince their constituents that the party was fair to all.