A forum of former members of the house of representatives from the north-central says the region deserves to produce the speaker of the 10th assembly.
The group said for the sake of “justice, equity and fairness”, the All Progressives Congress (APC) should zone the speakership position to the geopolitical zone.
In a communique read by Idris Yakubu, a member of the fourth assembly, on Sunday, the forum said if reports that suggest President-elect Bola Tinubu is backing the north-west for the position are accurate — then he must have been “misled”.
The forum said the north-central should be rewarded for its loyalty to the APC over the past eight years.
“As responsible citizens, we cannot fold our arms and watch when a major decision capable of fundamentally affecting our dear nation negatively and setting it on the path towards increased suspicion and bitter acrimony is being contemplated,” Yakubu said.
“After waiting several weeks for the President-elect Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other key stakeholders to guide the present crop of elected federal legislators on the zoning of leadership positions in the 10th national assembly to avoid acrimony and rancour, the forum notes that the principles of equity, justice and fairness which should have guided such processes may not have been explored.
“Rather than dwell on a template to promote unity and fairness for national cohesion, the forum observed that what is emerging is an odious stench of bias and lopsidedness that should not even be contemplated in a democracy.
“While the position of the senate president can be given to the south for religious balancing and the north-west the deputy senate president, the north-central must be given its due share in the leadership of the 10th national assembly.
“We ask that since the north-central gave the President-elect the highest percentage number of votes apart from the south-west, it should be given the speakership of the 10th assembly.
“This would come as the fair and just thing to do since the zone has never occupied the seat of speaker since the return of democracy in 1999 while the north-west has held it for 12 good years.”
The forum asked Tinubu not to heed the “plan by a few selfish individuals”, adding that he should “administer justice and equity to all so that his administration can start on a sound footing”.
Meanwhile, APC stakeholders from the north-central have cautioned Tinubu against backing a candidate for the speakership position outside the geopolitical zone.
Also speaking on Sunday, Dominic Alancha, convener of the group, said zoning of the speakership outside the region would be “total disregard to justice, equity and fairness” and may cause “chaos and conflict” in the political scene.