South-East Caucus In the House of Representatives Decries Exclusion of Members In The Selection of The Principal Officers of The House, A Development It Says Amounts To Marginalisation of The Zone
South-East Caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the House of Representatives yesterday decried its exclusion in the constitution of Principal Officers of the House alleging that the development amounts to marginalization of the region by the party.
Addressing journalists in his office in Abuja, leader of the caucus, Hon. Chika Okafor, said the argument on ranking as put forward by the party leadership was misplaced, adding that it was not enough reason for the party to deny the Southeast a place among principal officers of the House. “You may recall that the Southeast APC had nominated me for the post of Deputy Majority Whip.
A nomination that was dully accepted by the presiding officers of the House of Reps. As you already know, the final position is that Southeast is the only Zone that is excluded from the leadership while one zone has two plum positions”, Okafor told journalists.
He stated that while he had no reservation whatsoever in the ability of the House leadership to steer the Green Chambers, he however said “I am however constrained to plead with the leadership of the APC to review its definition of inclusiveness and rethink its perception and treatment of the Southeast”.
“If indeed our ideology of leadership involves, even in the minutest way,the integration of every section of our country, Nigeria, then our pontificating on Federal Character should go beyond lip service and rhetoric to practical embrace of every section of the country in the spirit of the change which we have promised.
“A number of persons hold the erroneous view that the APC did not have a good outing in the Southeast but every sincere Nigerian that understands the politics of the region can attest that the party in the southeast fought against stupendous odds and the statistics are there to prove it. “Needless to mention that the region has been a stronghold of the PDP since 1999”, he noted. Rep.
Okafor also noted that the Southeast States in 2011, under the sway of the PDP, recorded an average of a million votes each, which largely turned the table in favour of Former President Jonathan, a scenario he said was halted by the APC in the region in the 2015 elections. “In the last election, PDP in the South-east States merely managed a paltry average that is less than half a million votes due to the efforts of APC faithful in the region.
“In that election, APC in the Southeast exhibited the highest level of courage, doggedness and fierce loyalty to the party; in most cases to the point of risking their lives”, he noted. He argued that if APC loyalists in the region had allowed the PDP to re-enact the feat it recorded in 2011, the story would have been different for the APC.
-Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja