Anthony Sani, Secretary General of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), a socio-cultural organisation of the North, has warned Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), to guard against sharing leadership positions of the National Assembly with minority parties.
Sani said this in an interview with the Sun newspaper published on Saturday.
He said rewarding South-East and South-South with leadership positions in the National Assembly would mean rewarding “non electoral performance”.
He said: “We must note that democracy is majority rule and that the electoral mandate is to the party with majority, which will be accountable to the electorate. That is why the government is said to be APC controlled government. APC must guard against any attempt by the opposition to share the government. To do that would be across the grain of multi-party democracy.
“The place of PDP in this dispensation is to provide viable opposition as alternative platform. This is because democracy without viable opposition is a sham. And when you consider Professor Elliot’s preposition that even in Washington, politics goes beyond ideals to include about who gets what, why, where, how and when, then it is hard to make a credible case in favour of the South for the position of senate president under this dispensation. South-East and South-South are the hub of PDP who cannot be rewarded with senate president. To do so would amount to rewarding non electoral performance.
“They can make do with deputy senate president that is commensurate with their electoral value to the ruling party. And even though South-West has tried electorally, albeit less than in 2015, it has the VP. It is either the zone takes the post of deputy speaker or deputy senate president.
“I say this because if North Central zone could be asked to hands off any desire for senate president on account of having held the position in the past, South-West could also be asked to hands off any interest in the position of speaker which South-West has held in the past.
“More so that North-Central zone never held that post in the past and has performed creditably well in the recent elections by producing five governors and losing only one to the main opposition party. In that way, justice and equity, as well as multiparty democracy, will be seen as having played some roles.”