Senate Presidency: How Not To Clamour For The Southeast

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Femi Odere, convener of The Godswill Project says the current political blackmailing been employed by a section of political actors from the southeast in an attempt to get the senate president won’t work.

Mr Odere stated this in a statement issued to journalists on Saturday.

According to him, there is nothing bad in such lobbying exercise but that the southeast is not deserved of the position going by the kind of politics its political actors are playing.

“… it’s disingenuous, mischievous, and an attempt at subtle blackmail by the Coalition to have been emphatic in its submission that the insecurity challenges in the Southeast were the result of “non-inclusivity in principal elective appointments” of people from the region since the birth of this political dispensation. This is nothing but a crass misrepresentation of the facts,” Odere said.

Read the full statement below:

Our attention has once again been drawn to a letter written to the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Sen. Abdullahi Adamu and his National Working Committee (NWC) by a group known as the Coalition of APC Support Groups (CASG) in their attempt to sway the ruling party to zone the Senate Presidency in the coming 10th National Assembly to the Southeast.

In the letter, signed by the Coalition’s National Secretary Mazi Peter Okoroafor, he said, “It behooves on the NWC to lean on the balance of justice and equity, and insecurity challenges to concede the senate president position to the South East geo-political zone” to achieve “national cohesion and integration, and for peace to be pursued and delivered in the South-East political zone.”

For emphasis, Mazi Okoroafor, in the letter, wanted Nigerians to know, if not to be reminded, that, “the South East political zone has been overheated by non-inclusivity in principal elective appointments which the NWC can redress by taking proper and judicious decisions on the South-East Senate Presidency” with a specific recommendation for Senator Osita Izunaso “as most suitable for the office of the Senate President” being “the most senior ranking senator” from the region.

While no harm, whatsoever, has been done by the Coalition in its support for the Senate Presidency to be conceded to the Southeast geopolitical region, it’s disingenuous, mischievous, and an attempt at subtle blackmail by the Coalition to have been emphatic in its submission that the insecurity challenges in the Southeast were the result of “non-inclusivity in principal elective appointments” of people from the region since the birth of this political dispensation. This is nothing but a crass misrepresentation of the facts.

We must remind Mazi Okoroafor and his Coalition, in case they have forgotten, or they chose to have selective amnesia, that the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) and its sister Eastern Security Network (ESN) are up in arms against the Nigerian state not because of “non-inclusivity in principal elective appointments” but because they desire to secede from the federation with the independent Republic of Biafra.

The so-called “non-inclusivity” of the Igbo in political appointments cannot also pass muster as it can even be argued that they have more than their fair share of political appointments while they’re also predominant in the commanding heights of the federal civil service since the beginning of the Fourth Republic.

It’s perhaps safe to conclude at this juncture that it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than the Nigerian state to meet the inexhaustible political and domineering appetite of the Southeast, considering the unprecedented infrastructural developments that accrued to the region under the APC government of President Muhammadu Buhari. Whereas hate rage has been the party’s reward in every election cycle.

The “insecurity challenges” in the Southeast cited by the Coalition as one of its reasons for the Senate President’s ticket to be zoned to the region is an attempt to be clever by half. It’s therefore counter-productive as well as counter-intuitive.

What must be said to the Coalition, however, and without equivocation, is that Nigerians from all the geopolitical zones – save the Southeast – heavily disfavor the Senate President to emerge from the Southeast region.

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