The South East geopolitical zone of Nigeria may have been dreaming of producing the next Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), but those dreams may yet be dashed.
According to Guardian newspaper, there are reports that the position which had originally been zoned to the South East, so as to fully represent them in the Federal Executive Council, would no longer happen as the All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu is allegedly supporting someone else in the person of Chief Audu Ogbeh, a former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national chairman, from the North Central zone for the position.
The reason for this choice is supposedly to ensure that Senator Bukola Saraki’s Senate presidency bid is stopped.
“The game plan is to block Saraki’s chances and ensure that the South West gets the position of Speaker of House of Representatives this time around. The Tinubu camp believes that given the role they played in the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as presidential candidate of APC and president-elect, it would be politically unwise not to produce one of the leaders of the two-chamber National Assembly,” a source explained To The Guardian.
Also adding that the South East was receiving the short end of the stick due to the much visibility the zone enjoyed in the Jonathan administration, with the South West APC leaders pointing out that zoning the SGF to the zone would be tantamount to “rewarding an absentee candidate with high marks”.
Before plans to take away the position from the South East were revealed, three candidates had been earmarked for the position namely; Ogbonaya Onu, a former national chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), current Secreatary to the Imo State Government, Professor Awurum and former governor of Anambra State, Senator Chris Ngige.
This sudden turnaround has been alleged as a redinkled political rivalry between the South West and South East zones and a punishment for the leaders of the zone who failed to deliver bloc votes to APC during the presidential election.