Senators-elect from the South East geopolitical zone has called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) to zone the seat of Senate President to them in the spirit of justice, fairness, and unity.
Recall that reports emerged claiming President-elect Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu had endorsed Senator Godswill Akpabio from Akwa Ibom State as the next Senate President.
But in a communique after their meeting on Sunday, the Southeast senators rejected the perceived zoning of the position to any other geopolitical zone aside from their region.
They warned Tinubu against neglecting a major ethnic group like the Igbo, as this would be a recipe for restiveness and an open display of marginalisation.
According to the lawmakers, consultation has begun with other geopolitical zones to support their aspirations and demand.
The communique read: “We have observed with dismay the antics of persons with vested selfish interests who have planted themselves around the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and have vowed to shut out the South East from the Senate Presidency of the 10th Senate.
“Beyond ethnic and religious considerations, in the forthcoming 10th Senate, the Southeast has been blessed with ranking Senators-elect, including members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) who have the capacity, competence, influence, experience and Political followership to pilot the affairs of the Red Chamber, it becomes imperative that the All Progressives Congress upholds the Principle of natural Justice and equity which it preaches founded on reasons and zone the seat of Senate President to the South East region.
“The president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, should extend the same democratic opportunity he received from the outgoing administration, which gave all aspirants equal opportunity to exercise their fundamental and constitutional rights during the APC Presidential Primaries.
“He should be conscious of the grave implications of zoning and endorsing a candidate from South South without any regard for the Southeast, such move will no doubt serve as a recipe for Injustice which will culminate to restiveness.
“We implore the President-elect to be sensitive to the times in Nigeria and ensure the country continues to thrive on the part of equity, unity, and fairness to the tripod of Nigeria (Hausa Igbo Yoruba) and the geopolitical zones
“The country is already divided amongst ethnic and religious lines due to the exclusion of the Southeast region, which formed the major reason the APC received the amount of votes from the Southeast. The incoming administration of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu must correct this anomaly by ensuring that the Southeast is given the opportunity to produce the next Senate President.
“With the side-lining of the Southeast from producing the Presidential candidates of the major political parties before the general election, the only means through which the zone can be compensated and given a sense of belonging is for the zone to produce the next Senate President as this will restore confidence of the people from the South-east geo-political zone and indeed all Nigerians in the unity of the country
“The APC must rise above primordial and political interest and shun the winner takes all syndrome and pursue ethno-religious inclusivity and a strong, virile, united, progressive, prosperous, equitable and just democratic nation
“Mr. President-elect, how would an average Igbo man feel after he sees evidence of total discrimination? The South East has been denied the chance of producing the president of Nigeria since 1966.
“The South South has produced President for six years and also had Deputy Senate President in the outgoing administration. The only zone in the South that has not been favoured is the South East. The outcry of marginalisation by the South East and the entire Igbo should be addressed by your incoming administration rather than aggravating it.
“The South West has President, the North East has Vice President, it is only just that the least position at the moment that can assuage the South East is given the chance to be the President of the 10th Senate.
“On this note we have collectively resolved to support South East aspirants of the APC. We remain committed and have since expanded negotiations with other well-meaning Senators-elect to rally round the South East to ensure that justice, fairness and unity of the country prevails.
“We remain hopeful that together we shall achieve a harmonious 10th Senate, deepen democracy, fairness and the unity of our dear country.”
Naija News reports that those in attendance include Orji Uzor Kalu, Ifeanyi Ubah, Victor Umeh, Osita Izunaso, Ezenwa Onyewuchi, Tony Nwoye, PC Ndubueze, Okey Ezea, Kelvin Chukwu and Osita Ngwu.