The National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Felix Morka, has explained that the nominations of former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godwill Akpabio, and Abbas Tajudeen who are both being considered for the top offices at the National Assembly were “not set in stone.”
He said the recommendation by the party leadership to nominate Akpabio and Abass can still be changed as every party member is free to contest elective positions.
Morka also noted that the party’s decision to micro-zone the positions was to reduce contention, stressing that consultations are still ongoing despite the party nomination.
The APC Publicity Secretary who spoke on a Channels Television’s programme, ‘Politics Today’, pointed out that in making the selection, the party considered some very solid criteria aimed at ensuring that each region receives a fair share as principal officers of the National Assembly.
The PUNCH had reported that the APC, after hours of discussion on Monday, nominated Akpabio and Tajudeen, who are representing the Zaria Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, as the proposed Senate President and Speaker of the House respectively.
It also announced the Senator representing Kano North Senatorial District, Barau Jibrin, and the current spokesman of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, as Deputy Senate President and Deputy Speaker of the House.
But speaking on Tuesday, the NPS who debunked claims of favouritism, stressed that national interest made the party microzone the SP seat to the South-south zone which Akpabio represents.
He said, “The announcement made yesterday was the outcome of protracted consultations, engagement with the leaders, stakeholders including many of those who have expressed aspiration for these offices in the incoming tenth assembly.
“I know what you said is true that typically parties may zone to regions and leave up the micro-level specification of suggestions, but that is one module.
“We are the APC and we thought it necessary to actually go a step further because the field already as we see was already getting very heavy and just to reduce the scope of contentions and we thought to go a step further to actually,” Morka remarked.
He insisted, “In our constitution, consensus is a mode for the selection of those who play whatever role or capacity. This means you can negotiate and consult where there is some level of disparity of what might be a preferred position for the party.
“We are making a big deal out of this unnecessarily because, at the end of the day, the party is only offering ideas and suggestions looking at the big picture because when people aspire, they are blindsided by their aspirations and don’t quite the whole national interest but the party is in opposition to seeing things from that level,” the APS clarified.
Speaking in the same vein, The lawmaker representing Egbeda/Ona Ara Federal Constituency in Oyo State, Akin Alabi, said the contest is open to all, as the party’s nominations for National Assembly leadership would not prevent others from joining the race.
He noted that the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is still consulting over the National Assembly leadership despite the party’s nominations.