…threatens to withdraw support for APC
A round-table session which hosted a large section of Northerners, on Friday, threatened to withdraw support for the All Progressives Congress, if the region is not given the leadership of the National Assembly.
This position, canvassed by the region was the outcome of a one-day round table with the theme: ‘The imperative of participation, equity and equitable development of Northern Nigeria,’ organised by the Democratic Research Institute.
According to the Chairman of the Committee on Communique, Prof. Tukur Muhammad- Baba, and the Secretary, Dr Benjamin Izra Dikki, the meeting noted that since the region is not in control of both the Executive and Judiciary arms of government, the demand for the National Assembly leadership is non-negotiable.
The comminique specifically noted that in the February 25 Presidential election, the region gave the party substantial votes which led to the victory of the APC.
It added that the North contributed a total of 63 per cent of the entire votes cast to defeat other parties
The communique partly read, “In a table that was contained in the communique that showed the percentage of votes across the six geo-political zones, the North-west zone gave total votes of 2,652235, the North-central had 1,742,993 while the North-east gave 1,185,458. The total contributions of the North was 63.5 per cent.
“Based on the contributions of the North in the just concluded general elections, as evidenced in the table above, the roundtable, which drew participants from all the 19 Northern states, concluded that the progress, transformation and development of the region in hinged on its stake in government, particularly access to political, economic incentives and other opportunities,” the statement stressed.
The communique stressed that the groups further resolved as follows: “Demand the leadership of the National Assembly in consonance with the provisions of section 14 and sub-sections (1), (2) and (3) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended. This is necessary because the North is not in control of both the Executive and the Judiciary arms of government. This demand is non negotiable.”
They also demanded a fair share of the ministerial and other appointments. Such appointments, according to the groups, should take cognisance of competence, integrity and track record, otherwise, the region would be left with no option but to de-invest its support for the government and the party in subsequent elections.
Earlier, one of the leaders of the region, Prof. Al-Mustapha Ussiju-Medanar said the central objective of the roundtable discussion was to highlight and deepen the conversations around the roles and the place of the Northern region in strengthening Nigeria’s democracy and fostering nation-building through key players and partners of the region, among others.
He noted that the theme of the roundtable was key to addressing the socio-political challenges facing the region.
He added, “For me, it is a privilege to be a participant in this preparation for an all-inclusive recognition of the place of northern Nigeria in the Nigeria calculations and the veritable focus on the equitable development of northern Nigeria.
“The central objective of this roundtable discussion is to highlight and deepen the conversations around the roles and the place of the Northern region in strengthening Nigeria’s democracy and fostering nation-building through key players and partners of the region, among others.
“The northern region has effectively engaged its diverse endowment in population and various capacities to benefit the nation, in all ways possible; having been a pillar of strength on many fronts for the country,” Ussiju-Medanar remarked.