WE REGRET VOTING BUHARI– SOUTH WEST LEADERS

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Some
South-West leaders are currently biting their fingers in regret over voting
President Muhammadu Buhari into office.
The
zone is particularly angry with
the
President, who is the leader of the
All
Progressives Congress, APC, for
tolerating
the outcome of National
Assembly
leadership election, which
did
not favour the region.
Buhari’s
silence according to them is a
serious
indication that the zone, which
queued
behind him to ensure victory
at
the recent polls, may benefit little or
nothing
from the administration.
“For
the fact that the South-West
played
a key role in the emergence of
Buhari
as the President, it is expected
that
they would occupy a more
strategic
position than the post of vice
president”,
said one of the leaders.
They
argued that the National
Assembly
leadership election, which
eventually
placed the North Central
geopolitical
zone as a powerful force in
the
country’s power equation through
the
emergence of former Kwara
governor,
Bukola Saraki, as Senate
President
and Yakubu Dogara from the
North-East,
has depicted the South-
West
as not only a weak power bloc in
the
equation.
With
the power structure now,
the
South-West as a region has been
relegated
to the background in the
power
structure of the country.
Some
of the leaders of the region who
also
participated in the last National
Conference
argue that since the South-
West
does not hold any substantial
position
in the current power structure,
the
region must re-strategise to assert
itself
in the politics of the nation.
They
further argued that the position
of
Vice President, which is presently
held
by a south westerner, does not
place
the region as a powerful force.
While
referring to one of the speeches
made
by former President Goodluck
Jonathan
during the campaigns leading
up
to the 2015 general elections,
National
Coordinator of Coalition
of
Democrats for Electoral Reform,
CODER,
Chief Ayo Opadokun, a
South-West
leader, who spoke to the
Nigerian
Pilot Sunday on the current
power
imbalance, noted that the
Yoruba
race made a great mistake by
not
re-electing the former President,
considering
what he had in stock for
the
zone.
He
emphasised that the
implementation
of the National
Conference
report would elevate
the
standard of the zone, which is
the
reason people of the South-West
should
have queued behind Jonathan.
“Failure
to do this needful may spell
doom
for the zone as their trust in their
forged
alliance with North would lead
to
regret.
“Certainly,
as the power structure is,
there
is the need for the Yoruba race to
re-strategise
on the way they would
reassert
themselves in the country’s
politics
and power equation,”
Opadokun
advised.
Also
lending his voice on the skewed
power
structure, image maker of Pro-
National
Conference, Wale Okunniyi,
faulted
the emergence of Saraki and
Dogara,
which he described as a
conspiracy
against the Yoruba nation
by
some powerful forces in the APC.
He
stated further that it was
unfortunate
that the South-West did
not
get the speakership of the House of
Representative,
as the region pushed
forward
Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
He
condemned Sen. Saraki and Hon.
Dogara
for not adhering strictly to
the
party’s position, stressing that the
leadership
of the Yoruba people need
to
redirect their plan for the region
would
benefit in the current state of the
country
politics.
Okunniyi
said, “What happened
at
the National Assembly was a
conspiracy
against Yoruba nation by
some
powerful forces in the APC.
Although,
we hold the Vice President
position,
we lost the speakership. This
calls
for total re-strategising by Yoruba
leadership
so that we can have our
way
in this current power structure.”
However,
a prominent South-
West
leader and lawyer, Asiwaju Bisi
Adegbuyi,
stressed that as for now the
Yoruba
race needs self-determination
rather
than a symbolic representation.
“Yoruba
race should know what they
want.
Yoruba made progress when Chief Obafemi Awolowo led us.
Also
speaking to this paper, a PDP
chieftain
from the zone, Barrister
Olayinka
Sanni, put the blame on the
selfish
interest of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
He
said that Tinubu’s selfish interest
was
pushing the South-West backward.
According
to him, “the system of leadertakes-
all
that Tinubu used in Lagos
politics
gave the undue advantage to
Bukola
Saraki and Yakubu Dogara as
Senate
President and Speaker of the
Federal
House of Representatives.
“He
derives pleasure from cheating
people
in public. If they had not
conducted
the mock election, Femi
Gbajabiamila
would have won since it
would
have happened at the same time
in
both chambers,’’ he noted, adding that
going
by the trend of things, South-West
might
be forced to pressurise President
Buhari
to implement the part of the
recommendation
of the Confab which
would
be favorable to them.
However,
notwithstanding the current
leadership
positions in the National
Assembly,
which the South-West
complains
about being relegated to the
second
fiddle, the zone clinched the
position
of Deputy Speaker
Hon.
Yusuf Lasun had in spite of the All
Progressives
Congress endorsement of
his
opponent Monguno Tahir, polled 203
votes
to defeat Tahir, who had 153 votes.
Mr.
Lasun represents Irepodun,
Olorunda,
Osogbo Federal Constituency
in
Osun State.
But
according to analysts, with the
victory
of Bukola Saraki as the Senate
President
and Yakubu Dogara as the
Speaker
of the House of Representatives,
the
six geopolitical zones appear to have
benefitted
from power sharing.
All
the zones, North-West, North-
East,
North Central, South-West, South-
East
and South-South are adequately
represented
at the centre.
While
Senator Saraki hails from Kwara
State,
North Central zone, Rep. Dogara is
from
Bauchi State, North East Nigeria.
The
same for Deputy Senate President,
Ike
Ekweremadu, an indigene of Enugu
State
in the South-East zone.
The
Deputy Speaker of the House,
Yusuf
Lasun, is from Osun State in the
South-West.
President,
Mohammed Buhari is from
Katsina
State, North-West zone while his
deputy,
Yemi Osinbajo, hails from Ogun
State
also in the South-West zone.
The
South-South is represented in the
capacity
of John Odigie Oyegun, National
Chairman
of the All Progressives
Congress,
APC, the ruling party.

– Nigerian Pilot

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