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 APC won’t use zoning to pick senate president – Akande

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PostSubject: APC won’t use zoning to pick senate president – Akande   2015-05-20, 07:59

Contrary to expectations, a former
acting National Chairman of the All
Progressives Congress, Chief Bisi
Akande, has said that the party will
not choose the next President of
the Senate through zoning.
Akande, who spoke with some
journalists in Ikeja, on Tuesday,
explained that zoning was strange
to the APC.
A member of the APC’s Board of
Trustees, Akande said the party’s
constitution did not recognise
zoning, adding that zoning was a
creation of the ruling Peoples
Democratic Party.
The former governor of Osun State
said the leadership of the party
shot down the idea of zoning when
it was brought up by the party’s
current National Chairman, Chief
John Odigie-Oyegun.
He said, “Zoning is very, very
strange to the APC. There is no
zoning in our constitution. We
don’t want to copy the PDP in
whatever we are doing. We have
the best of brains and culture
among our leadership. We want the
best for Nigeria. Because of this, we
don’t want to entertain zoning
“It is true that sometime after the
general election, the (party’s)
national chairman wanted to toy
with the idea of zoning and
unanimously we said no, we don’t
want to zone.”
Describing the PDP as a prodigal
party, Akande said one of the
institutions through which the
ruling party frittered the nation’s
revenues was the National
Assembly.
He said, “We are taking over from a
delinquent (PDP) administration
and one of the most prodigal
institutions of that administration
is the National Assembly. The
(former) Central Bank Governor said
the recurrent expenditure of the
National Assembly was N10bn and
that it rose to about N150bn.
“Their personal income is
prohibitive and secretive. This
created the scramble for the
leadership of the legislature and
we don’t want our party to be
involved in the prodigal nature of
the National Assembly.
“In order to tone it down, we need
to do a lot of compromises and
sacrifices and we need to select
from among the leaders who are in
the Senate that would be able to
control the culture of the Assembly
according to the policy of our
party.”
The Ila-Orangun-born politician
recalled that during the second
republic, the President, Alhaji
Shehu Shagari, hailed from the
North just as the Vice-President,
Chief Alex Ekwueme hailed from
the South-East and the Speaker of
the Senate, Chief Edwin Ume-
Ezuoke, hailed from the South-East.
He also said that in the current
political dispensation, President
Goodluck Jonathan is from the
South-East while the Vice-
President, Namadi Sambo, and
Speaker of the House of
Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal,
are from the North.
Akande said, “This can happen. We
don’t want to say Christian, Muslim
or Ibo or Yoruba. We want to be
careful, otherwise, we won’t be
able to produce the best. We are
trying to select the best man. We
don’t want what brought the PDP
down (to bring us down).”
When asked if the exclusion of
zoning in the selection process
would not affect the federal
character nature of post sharing
among the zones of the country,
Akande said no, adding that the
exclusion of zoning would be used
only for the post of the Senate
President.
He said, “We are talking about
Senate President. Once we pick the
Senate President, others would
follow suit and they will now say,
since the Senate President is from
so and so zone, then the deputy
senate president can’t be from
there; that he should be from
elsewhere. But we must choose the
best person first.”
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