by Kolapo Olapoju
The zoning meeting between senior members of the All Progressives Congress reportedly ended in a stalemate on Wednesday night.
The meeting was held to resolve issues concerning the zoning of top offices in the National Assembly, however, as a result of the contest between the leaders of the North-East and South-West for the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives, an accord could not be reached.
Those present at the meeting on Wednesday night at the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja, were President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd); Vice-President-elect, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; party leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; governors-elect, senators-elect and some other executive officers of the party.
While the Speakership could not be agreed on, the leaders at the meeting managed to agree on the zoning of the office of Senate President to the North-Central and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, to the South-East.
Vanguard reported that a source who was in the meeting, revealed that at some point, there was hot verbal exchange between the supporters of the two zones.
The heated argument was said to have forced the meeting to mandate the president-elect and the vice-president-elect to resolve the issue on a another day.
However, a senior member of the party’s National Executive Committee, who was present at the discussion, played down developments at the meeting, saying that it was not exactly a formal meeting. He said: “We have not held our NEC and our NEC is going to resolve all these issues, so there is no need for anxiety.”
Meanwhile, in order to break the deadlock, returning members of the House of Representatives are believed to have reached a consensus on Thursday to break the deadlock by picking outgoing minority leader, Femi Gbajabiamila and Yakubu Dogara for either speaker or deputy speaker of the House of Representatives.
The members reportedly said they would be comfortable with either of them as speaker and the other as deputy, owing to the fact that the pair are from two zones that are in contention for the speaker.