A Northern group, the Democratic Research Institute (DRI), led by Prof. Tukur Muhammad-Baba, at the weekend vowed to withdraw support for the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the next administration led by Bola Tinubu, if they fail to ensure that the 10th National Assembly is led by somebody from the region.
The group, in a communiqué signed by Muhammad-Baba , chair of DRI and its Secretary, Dr. Benjamin Izra Dikki, noted that the region will need constant access to political and economic stake in power to ensure that the region gets certain incentives.
Rising from the meeting, the group stressed that the north gave Tinubu and his party, the APC, the largest number of votes in last February 25 presidential election and therefore deserve to be considered first before any other part of the country for the leadership of the legislature.
According to DRI, this has become even more imperative because the north does not currently head the executive or even the judiciary.
The roundtable which held in Kaduna for various stakeholders of the Northern region of Nigeria with the Theme: “Nation Building and Democracy: The Imperative of Participation, Equity and Equitable Development of Northern Nigeria”, it said, was aimed at addressing the socio-political challenges that face the ‘contagious’ region of Nigeria.
The group added that the roundtable was also a response to the current political situation in the country, the promulgation of the 10th National Assembly ,particularly its leadership and the need to avoid the crisis of misrepresentations and distributions of rewards for political participation in the 2023 general elections, especially the presidential election.
According to the DRI, while the north gave the APC and Tinubu 63.5 per cent of the total votes he garnered, the entire south gave just over 36 per cent, with the South-west giving the president-elect 25.7 per cent. According to the group, the South-south offered 9.1 per cent while the South-east gave him and the APC 1.45 per cent.
In contrast, he said the north-west gave Tinubu and APC 30 per cent, North-central 20 per cent and the North-east 13.5 per cent.
Based on the contributions of the North in the just-concluded general elections, as evidenced in the roundtable which drew participants from all the 19 Northern states, the group concluded that the progress, transformation and development of the region was hinged on its stake in government, particularly access to political, economic incentives and opportunities.
It therefore, resolved to :”Demand the leadership of the National Assembly in consonance with the provisions of section 14 and sub-sections (1), (2) and (3) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.”
It added: “ This is necessary because the North is not in control of both the executive and the judiciary arms of government. This demand is non-negotiable.” The North, it said, also demands fair share of ministerial and other appointments.
“Such appointments should take cognisance of competence, integrity and track record, otherwise the region is left with no option than to de-invest its support for the government and the party in subsequent elections,” it noted.
Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja