Brickbats over zoning

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By Felix Ikem, Stanley Uzoaru, Ogbonnaya Ndukwe and Okey Sampson

Days after its announcement, opposition to the zoning arrangement for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly announced by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has continued to mount.

Several respondents told Saturday Sun that zoning the Senate Presidency away from the South-East is unjust, unfair and unfortunate.

APC leaders want to destroy S’East – Prof. Jonah Onuoha, UNN

I had earlier granted an interview to the media on the need to carry every section of the country along in sharing principal positions. Therefore, zoning the Senate president out of South East will appear as if the zone has been positioned for destruction. There is no way the South East zone cannot get a slot from the top three political positions of the country from the composition of the incoming government, and if that happens it will be clear to the world that South East is positioned for destruction and that is not what I want to see. Any attempt to sideline the zone or deny them the chance of taking the country’s number three position will be a clear manifestation of the APC, and the leaders of Nigeria State to destroy the zone. Therefore there is no reason on earth, no political calculation that will make anybody not to carry all zone along.Sd5Sd5

It’s declaration of war against S’East – Solomon Gwiyi, Convener, Save Enugu Youths Initiatives (SEYI)

For us at SEYI, this is neo-marginalisation of the South-East. And we wish to state that the continuous alienation of the South East geopolitical zone in the sharing formula of the ruling APC is, to say the least, provocative, appalling, and a declaration of war against the zone by a new government.

We feel so pained that an incoming government of a Southerner (Tinubu) could start on a bad note. We are still at a loss as to whether the ongoing marginalisation of the East forms part of APC’s guiding principles. We had expected him to toe the path of honour and pacify the East with a Senate presidency that would calm the nerves of our people. Unfortunately, he has chosen the path of segregation and marginalization. We can only wish him luck.

S’East deserves to produce Senate president – Christopher Nnadi, civil servant

Denying South East the Senate presidency position will portend a lot of ill feeling and disaffection in the zone. Remember the last time the zone produced the Senate President was in the 7th Senate. Since the zone couldn’t produce the president of the country, I believe that they should be allowed to produce the next Senate President in the interest of equity, justice, and fairness, as well as to give the people of the zone a sense of belonging. All in all, I am also of the opinion that our own Senator Orji Uzor Kalu should be given the Senate presidency since he is most experienced among the South East senators in the red chambers.Fg 1Fg 1

This won’t bring sense of belonging – Emmanuel Odoemelam, public affairs analyst

South East should be given the Senate President. Tinubu should follow the 1999 PDP formula of zoning Senate President to the South-East. The essence is to create a sense of belonging among the South-East geopolitical zone as well as to arrest separatist agitations in the zone.

APC didn’t disappoint me – Athan Agbakwuru, teacher

I laugh when people talk about this. Frankly speaking, I’m not disappointed or surprised by the decision taken by APC to scheme out South-East from the zoning of Senate Presidency. Who does not know from the onset that APC has strong reservations about placing South-East in such position? In the 9th Assembly, no Igbo man of South-East extraction was a core principal officer in the two chambers of the National Assembly. 

The APC’s perception of South-East stems from the bigoted tendencies of the outgoing president, and his supposed incoming successor. South-Easterners in APC have just been told that they are not part of the fold by the latest action of the ruling party.

APC marginalising S’East – Alfred Chikezie, politician

I’m not happy with that zoning formula,we fought against PDP because of this same situation, how they have been marginalising the South East. Now we have also voted for APC and the same thing is happening. This is a great injustice even when we have watched them cede the position of the president and vice president to Muslims. The only thing we had expected APC to do for us is to give us the senate president position. We have ranking members who could occupy that position. We want that decision to be reversed and the right thing properly done.MM

S’East doesn’t need Senate President – Eusebio Eke Substance, journalist, rights activist

South East doesn’t need it. We’ve had it seven times in the course of Nigeria’s political history but achieved nothing. What stops the Igbo or South East from becoming the President of Nigeria? Peter Obi won the February 25 presidential election, but they ganged up to take it away. If Buhari can be president, we have competent Igbo to become president.

Igbo are being pushed out – Rev Celestine Odogwu, pastor, rights activist

Denying the South East any of the three top positions in the land shows that Igbo are being pushed out of the system. What the tribal Lords of the North and South West have done, has, unfortunately given credence to what the IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, said, for which they are incarcerating him. Since 2015, the government of Nigeria has not favoured the South East, and the Northern elites and elders know it but are shying away from speaking out and saying the truth.

It’s unfair to S’East – Chief Johnson Chukwu, community leader

It is not fair to deny the South East the Senate President position. If truly we say we are trying to engender equity in the land, I think the South East, more than any other zone in the country, should be considered for that position because presently, we have a president-elect from the South West, vice president-elect from the North East and the North West has been given the Speakership position. Therefore, the office of the Senate President should be zoned to the South East to balance the equation. If truly you say you want to integrate the South East into the main stream of the Nigerian politics, the South East should not be left out in this.

APC should reconsider position – Chief (Mrs) Adaeze Kanu, businesswoman

They say it is the party that is zoning these positions. I am therefore appealing to the APC to reconsider their earlier decision of zoning it to the South-South. In the recent past, we have seen an upsurge in youth restiveness in this part of the country. If the Senate President position is zoned to the South East, that problem would have been taken care off. It with bring peace and tranquility in the country.