House of Representatives member from Edo State, Mr. Pally Iriase, on Monday, appealed to the leadership of the All Progressives Congress
(APC) to zone the post of Speaker of the House to the South-South geo-political zone based on the principle of federal character asenshrined in the constitution.
Iriase, who represents Owan Federal Constituency, made theappeal, in Abuja, while speaking to journalists about his aspiration to be elected the Speaker of the House.
He said Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), in the spirit of fairness, justice and with the intent of promotingnational unity frowns upon the preponderance of persons from a fewstates or from one ethnic or sectional groups controlling politicalpower in any form.
Arguing that the APC was inexorably bound to respect the federalcharacter principle as contained in the constitution, Iriase addedthata lawmaker from the South-South zone deserved to be Speaker since the President-elect was from the North-West and the Vice- President-elect was from the South-West.
“Therefore, based on the federal character provision of theconstitution, neither of these zones should get priority on the queuefor the presiding officers of the National Assembly.
“When you consider the implication of the foregoing and factor in thefeasible permutations for the presiding officers of the Senate, it is clear that the South-South should be given the nod to produce the Speaker for the
House of Representatives by the APC,” he said.
Iriase warned the hierarchy of the APC to learn from history andavoid falling victim to what happened to the Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP) in 2011 in the choice of a speaker.
“I don’t wish for my party the route the PDP went through in 2011.
He said his agenda if elected speaker would be to enthronetransparency and promote the anti-corruption stance of the Buhariadministration, promote prudent management and overall good governance, alongside a dogged defence and preservation of the respect andintegrity of the legislature.