10th NASS LEADERSHIP: You’re encouraging the promotion of a punitive culture of marginalization against the S/E region, WISG warns the APC on zoning formula
World Igbo Summit Group (WISG), an umbrella body that brings all the Igbo people and its relevant bodies and other experts of Igbo extraction residing in different parts of the world together to foster the growth and unity of the five states in the Southeast region has condemned the zoning arrangements for the 10th National Assembly leadership positions announced by the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee recently.
Recall that since the publication of the zoning formula for the election of key principal officers of the 10th National Assembly by the APC, the media has been inundated with calls from different groups condemning the lack of inclusiveness, absence of proper consultation and undemocratic tendencies in the selection process.
The WISG Convener, Prof Gregory Ibe, while reacting to the pronouncement made by the APC National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, which micro zoned office of the Senate President to the South South region with Senator Godswill Akpabio as preferred candidate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to North West with Hon Abbas Tajudeen, as consensus nominee, in a release made available to newsmen in Umuahia through Mr. Sleek Ogwo, ANIPR, Director Communication & Strategy, described the zoning arrangement as totally discriminatory and a glaring manifestation of the non-inclusive stance of the APC against the South East.
Prof. Ibe, who contested the 2023 Abia governorship election as candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), maintained that if the APC goes ahead to implement the zoning arrangement as announced, the party will be inadvertently sustaining the parochial apartheid policy it introduced against the South East region during the current Buhari administration.
Ibe stated that the attention of the leadership of World Igbo Summit Group was drawn to the purported zoning formula by the ruling APC for principal officers of the 10th National Assembly which from every indication encourages “the promotion of a punitive culture of discrimination and marginalization against the South East region”.
Continuing Prof Ibe said,” By wilfully marginalizing the South East while zoning the offices of President, Vice President, Senate President, Deputy Senate President and House Speaker, APC is simply advancing the parochial agenda of exclusion which was introduced through the President Buhari propagation of the ’97 and 5 percent’ dichotomy and the ‘dot in a circle’ stigmatization”.
Calling for total rejection of the zoning formula, the statement cautioned the APC to refrain from further polarizing the nation through divisive policies which tend to discourage inclusiveness, equity, fairness and rather advocated for a resort to the time tested arrangement of stabilizing the polity on the firm tripod of WAZOBIA, leveraging and deploying the collective socio-political and economic strengths of the Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo in the act of nation building.