Principal Officers: Dogara Writes APC, Buhari, Rejects Gbajabiamila, Southwest
BEVERLY HILLS, July 16, (THEWILL) – The last may not have been heard of the crisis in the House of Representatives as the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has officially written to the National Chairman of his party, All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Oyegun, insisting that the positions of principal officers should be zoned instead of being appointed by the party.
Dogara, in a nine page letter, dated July 16, proposes that the House leader and deputy leader should come from and North West and North Central respectively; while the South-South and South-East should provide the Chief Whip and Deputy Chief Whip.
The letter was a formal acknowledge receipt of a letter Ref. No. APC/NHDQ/NAM/01/015/06 dated 23rd June, 2015, by the APC Chairman.
Citing past antecedents, the position of the Constitution on federal character and some House Rules, Dogara, in the letter also copied to President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal in his capacity as the Progressive Governors' forum mediator, Governor Rochas Okorocha, Chairman, Progressive Governors' Forum and Chairman, Forum of APC State Chairmen, insisting that the proposal he made is legal, constitutional and will neutralise all pending cases instituted on the matter.
“The proposal satisfies the provisions of Order 1 of our Rules, the Constitutional provision on Federal Character and gives all parts of Nigeria a sense of belonging. The proposal will also obviate all pending Court cases filed by some Zonal Caucuses on the matter.
“To resolve this problem, we had offered that some of the aggrieved members of our party, APC, who lost the election for the office of Presiding Officers, should produce some of the remaining Principal Officers for peace to reign.
“For emphasis, we have conceded the position of Leader of the House and Chief Whip to those aggrieved, as long as the persons should not come from the North East or South West Zones that have already produced the Speaker and Deputy Speaker,” he said, pledging that he would avail members excluded by his proposal “with other commensurate appointments or other existing opportunities for service to the nation.”
“We owe a duty to lay the truth bare as we have done in this case. The Party in conjunction with Governors, National leaders and the APC Causes in the House may agree otherwise as the saying goes, “volenti non fit injuria”.
“Our Party must not have the undistinguished honour of setting a precedent outside of the provisions of the Constitution and the Rules of the House,” he explained, urging that the proposal be considered on its merits.