The All Progressives Congress (APC) Zonal and State Youth Leaders Forum, on Tuesday, demanded immediate zoning of all the leadership positions for the ninth National Assembly, even as it called for the convening of the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party.
The zonal youth leaders, who are also members of NEC, expressed concern over the fate of APC after the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari, especially in the light of the high-handedness and perception of lack of internal democracy in the party by the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC).
In a communiqué read to newsmen at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja, venue of its meeting, where APC youth leaders from 31 states were in attendance, the Forum described the decision by the NWC to micro-zone the position of Senate President and Speaker of House of Representatives as “a recipe for chaos.”
It demanded that “all positions in the National Assembly are immediately zoned to accommodate the six geo-political zones for equity and fairness,” adding that “no zone is less important than the other. Zonal stakeholders should be allowed to own and determine the process.”
The communiqué, signed by the six APC zonal youth leaders and read by the North Central zonal youth leader, Comrade Terver Aginde, on behalf of the Forum, equally called for the immediate recall of some suspended party members by the NWC.
“We observed with great concern the recent suspension of some major stakeholders of the party including two outgoing governors who are also Senators-elect and a retinue of court cases with significant judgements against the party i.e Rivers and Zamfara.
“The mishandling of these issues by the National Working Committee and other crises led to our electoral loss in the affected states, particularly in Imo, Bauchi, Adamawa and Oyo,” it further added.
“Whilst we agree with the initiative to determine National Assembly leadership within the parameters of zoning and ranking to ensure stability and discipline within the ranks of the party, we must do so without undermining the independence of the legislature. We consider the micro-zoning as a recipe for chaos mindful of the experience of 2015.
“It is anomalous to have made a pronouncement on the position of the Senate Presidency and Speakership of the House of Representatives to the exclusion of other positions and other zones.
“It is pertinent for members of our great party to note that the purported NWC decision is suspect. Not even the respected and revered National Caucus of the APC comprising of major stakeholders such as President Muhammadu Buhari, APC Governors, party stalwarts and BOT members addressed the issue.”
The Forum further took a swipe at the decision of the Oshiomhole-led exco to adopt Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, as the party’s choice candidate for the office of Senate President.
It insisted that Oshiomhole is gradually destroying and killing internal democracy in the party.
“We are curious to ask for instance how the decision was arrived at, who moved the motion for micro-zoning, who seconded the motion, who voted for micro-zoning and who was against micro-zoning. We dare ask, who is benefiting from this arrangement, an INDIVIDUAL or the PARTY? Party members will be glad to see the minutes of the meeting where such decision was taken,” it said.
It called for a meeting of NEC of the party to address “all pre and post election issues confronting the party,’ imploring Buhari to pay attention to what it described as “dangerous drift of the ship of the party which if not urgently steered aright may be heading for a precipice.”
The youth leaders asked the APC to “ensure that the various organs of the party at Zonal and State level are made functional in accordance with the laws governing the party and to reposition the party beyond President Muhammadu Buhari and 2023.”
The APC Youth Leaders’ Forum appealed to the President to consult the youth organs of the party in his next cabinet appointments.