How Lawan, Gbajabiamila’s NASS leadership will affect APC in Southeast – Chekwas Okorie
Former National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Chekwas Okorie, has said he believes that the way leadership positions in the National Assembly were distributed by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will not help the fortunes of the party in the Southeast region.
ND REPORTERS reports that Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila were elected Senate President and House of Representatives Speaker respectively in landmark legislative election which marked the commencement of ninth National Assembly.
However, the Southeast region was excluded in APC’s distribution of presiding offices to other regions that did not produce the President of Nigeria in 2019.
In spite of that, Okorie suggested how President Muhammadu Buhari can correct the disparity by running an all-inclusive government.
According to him, only inclusivity in President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term government can restore the now waning confidence the Southeast had hitherto started to develop in the APC going by the performance of the party in the 2019 elections as compared to its 2015 outing in the region.
He spoke in an interview with NewTelegraph, saying; “Let me start with the ruling party; I had advised its leadership in the past since I am not one of its members to consider zoning the position of Senate President to the South-East and even went further to suggest, who it should be.
“But, when I realised that they have made up their mind that it will go the North-East, I suggested to them that the outcome of the distribution of leadership positions in the National Assembly will determine the fate of the APC in the South-East and among the Igbo people.
“Many people don’t know that the Igbo ethnic group has the largest population and spread among the various ethnic groups in Nigeria. They only look at the number that is registered in the South- East, forgetting the enormous number of the Igbo in other states of the federation.
“Apparently, APC failed to realise that it is always resounding whenever Ndigbo galvanise themselves to pursue a common cause given the way they zoned positions in the National Assembly or compelled our people to pander to what they referred to as party supremacy.
“That is not going to be helpful to the party except something is done and that is what the President himself has promised – an all-inclusive government. Only that will restore the confidence of the Igbo in Nigeria and give them a sense of belonging.
“Having said that, I can also tell you that Ndigbo have a critical problem of political leadership and that lack of political leadership has resulted to the tragedy we are seeing now.
“Some of us had warned ahead of the 2019 elections that it would be wrong for us to put all our eggs in one basket, but we were called names.
“I personally supported President Buhari on the ground that what he was doing in the South-East was what the PDP government could not do in 16 years it was in power. I looked around the South-East, but did not see any project that was started and completed by the PDP in 16 years that it was in power.
“I was called all sorts of names for doing that, but when Buhari won, some of those who lampooned me started saying I was a man who saw tomorrow.
“What has happened now is a wake-up call for Ndigbo to take their destiny in their hands. I want to reiterate that nobody gives anyone power out of human kindness. Power is struggled for and you must come up with a strategy when going for power.
“In the last elections, almost all the geopolitical zones divided their strengths in terms of who they voted for that even if the election had gone the way of PDP, none of them would have lost out.”