By Gideon Njoku
The South-east APC is grieving, and so are those politicians from the zone who worked across party lines to give President Muhammadu Buhari, at least, 25 per cent, in three of the zone’s five states.
They did that, according to them, hoping that the zone would be rewarded with one of the first four positions in the National Assembly, NASS.
The positions are those of the President of the Seate, Deputy President of the Senate, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The Zone was expectant, especially, as two of its sons and a daughter had shown more than a passing interest in the positions.
Orji Uzo Kalu, a former governor of Abia state, and a former member of the House of Representatives, now a Senator-elect, is strongly lobbying and canvassing for the position of the Deputy Senate President. Hon. Nkeiru Onyejiocha, a three-time member of the House and, Hon.Emeka Nwajiuba, Chairman of TETFUND, but now going to the House for the second time, are both lobbying for the position of the Speaker.
In fact, there had been rumours that Senator Ike Ekweremadu, immediate past Deputy Senate President, was being projected to pair with either of the two frontline APC candidate for the Senate Presidency – Senators Ahmed Lawan and Ali Ndume for the DSP position.
But, that’s a long shot. If the resolution of the APC National Working Committee, NWC, last night, is anything to go by, none of that will happen. The South-east will come out empty-handed. If lucky, it may get two of the less high profile positions – one in the Senate, and one in the House.
The APC NWC has pulled the rug from under the zone’s feet.
Rising from the meeting, and flaunting President Buhari’s name, the NWC ordered all APC NASS members to toe the party line, and vote Lawam as the Senate President, and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker. For their deputies, they endorsed Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the alleged sponsor of the mace-snatching scandal by thugs who invaded the Senate chambers.
Even though Kalu, Onyejeocha and Nwajiuba have not withdrawn, it is expected that they would, to avoid their party’s wrath, and that of the president. An APC high ranking official told this magazine, “Nobody wants to be a Saraki or a Dogara.” He was refering to the obvious prosecution of both men by the party and the presidency for not adhering to the party’s choice for the two top positions in the NASS in 2015. It led to the encampment of both of them to the PDP, where they still retained their positions to the end.
Already, Senator Ajayi Boroffice who was seriously gunning for the DSP position has withdrawn in obedience to his party’s order.