Members of the House of Representatives loyal to the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership and its favoured candidate for the office of majority leader, Femi Gbajabiamila have kicked against the conditions given by the camp of the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara for the zoning of principal offices.
The Dogara camp had agreed to zone the principal offices, but ruled out the North West and South West – where Gbajabiamila hails from – because the Speaker and Deputy Speakers already hail from both zones.
Reacting to the development via a statement, Rufai Chachangi, speaking on behalf of the APC Loyalist Group said: “We the 174 APC Loyalists group of the House are aware that there was a private discussion between Gov. Aminu Tambuwal and President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday evening at the State House.
“We also aware that Gov. Tambuwal briefed the press that there would be a meeting between him and Speaker Dogara’s group the same day.
“To the best of our knowledge, no counter-offer has been made to the APC Loyalists group after her first meeting with the Tambuwal peace committee wherein the APC loyalists clearly stated that in line with the party supremacy resolution reached at the last APC NEC meeting, the position of the party on Femi Gbajabiamila as the House Leader was not negotiable.
“We understand that the Dogara group is now playing the zoning card after same group had hitherto before the speakership election of June 9th, 2015 rejected the zoning formula of the party prior to the mock election.
“Interestingly, the six geopolitical zones in the country are not recognised by the constitution. But if they wish to play the zoning card, then the Senate and House cannot be headed by the North.
“We have respect for people of the South-east but we cannot hold brief for a zone that produced only two ‘fresh’ APC members . The issue of exclusion of the South-east does not exist; rather they are not qualified to be principal officers of the House.