A former Presidential Adviser and delegate to the 2014 National Conference, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, has cautioned that the exclusion of South-East lawmakers from leadership positions in the National Assembly may constitute a threat to the unity of the country.
Yakasai, who stated this while addressing newsmen in Kano on Tuesday, described the sharing of positions as lop-sided.
He warned that the stability and unity of the country would be endangered if personal interest was allowed to over-ride national interest.
According to him, “It is quite shocking that at the end of the meeting of some All Progressives Congress leaders at Aso Rock, called by President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Gbajamiala, who contested the Speakership against Yakubu Dogora and lost, emerged the Leader of the House.
“I can recall that before President Buhari’s intervention, the Dogara group accepted to concede the position of the Leader of the House to the Gbajamiala’s group, but with the condition that the position will not go to the South-West.
“It was surprising that after the meeting between the National Chairman of APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, Gbajamiala and Dogora at the Villa, they came back and did otherwise.
“Again, immediately after Femi was announced the Leader of the House, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu paid a visit to the Villa apparently to thank President Buhari for intervening in favour of Femi Gbajamiala.
“Now, in the House leadership, South-West has two major slots and the South-East has nothing. This is not a good development.”
Yakasai further warned that with the current set up in the House of Representatives, those now clamouring for the removal of Senator Ike Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President should be wary of the consequences.
Noting that Ekweremadu is the only representative of the South-East in the National Assembly leadership, Yakasai advised Buhari to be conscious of the marginalisation already suffered by the South-East while constituting his cabinet.
This, he said, was to ensure proper representation of that region in the government.