9th NASS: Fresh Crunch Emerges In APC Over Leadership Slots


Fresh crisis is looming in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), over zoning of leadership positions in the 9th National Assembly that will be inaugurated in June.

An All Progressives Congress Party (APC) supporter waves a party flag while celebrating initial results released by the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kano, on 25th February 2019, two days after general elections. – Nigeria’s main opposition on 25th February, accused the ruling party of trying to rig presidential elections, as the incumbent made early gains but monitors voiced concern about polling day problems, including dozens of deaths.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Muhammadu Buhari of colluding with the electoral commission in an attempt to “manipulate the results”.

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The party is yet to wriggle out of the snarl occasioned by its endorsement of Senator Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe North) for the Senate presidency. Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South), has insisted on running for the position and would not step down for Lawan despite pressure from some of the political party leaders.

The latest crisis is coming from alleged moves by the party hierarchy to endorse House of Representatives Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, for the speakership. Gbajabiamila is from the South-West where Vice President Yemi Osinbajo hails from. There have been agitations by some stakeholders that the speakership should neither go to the North-West, which produced President Muhammadu Buhari, nor South-West that produced the vice president.

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The North-Central and South-East zones are clamouring for the Number Four seat to ensure equity, justice and inclusivity in the sharing of positions in the ruling party.

Zonal and state youth leaders of the party, yesterday, rejected the zoning arrangement of the National Working Committee (NWC), saying it was a recipe for chaos.

Deputy Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nebana at a briefing in Abuja warned the party not to zone the speakership to South-West or North-West, saying that doing so may rub off negatively on the party in 2023 elections.

Amid the crisis, some youth groups, opinion leaders and stakeholders in Niger Delta have thrown their weight behind incumbent Speaker, Yakubu Dogara to continue in office.