Outgoing Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has said the All Progressives Congress (APC) decided to zone the 10th Speakership and the Deputy Senate Presidency to the North West in order to compensate the region.
Gbajabiamila made this known in Abuja on Wednesday night at a meeting of the Joint Task–10th Assembly, a coalition of members-elect of the All Progressives Congress and opposition parties in the coming 10th National Assembly.
He said the North West wanted the Vice Presidency but the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, chose his running mate from the North East and decided to compensate the region with the speakership position in terms of their contribution to his victory.
Gbajabiamila also denied reports that he singlehandedly zoned the Speakership and the deputy speakership positions to the North West and South East respectively.
The Speaker, however, noted that the emergence of the APC on the political scene in 2014 was basically between the South-West and the North-West.
He said: “I recall that I told Abbas he would abide by only the decision of the APC,” saying, “But as God would have it…and I will say this because a lot of people think and give me more credit and more power than it is due me. A lot of people think I zoned speakership…I handpicked and zoned. I wish I had those powers.
“I said to the people who zoned, ‘Why North-West?’ They said to me, ‘Go and read your political history;’ that from the day Nigeria was born, the North-West being the largest of voting blocs with seven states has never ever been outside the top four of the hierarchy in Nigeria. I said I didn’t know that.
“Why would it be in my time or our time that the North-West will be left out of the calculation? That is why they zoned it to the North-West, amongst many other reasons, apart from the number of votes that they brought – 30 per cent of our figures.
“The North-West wanted the Vice-President. The President-elect decided to go to the North-East. So, the least he could do was to compensate them with speakership in terms of what they bring to the table. It is as simple as that. I did not zone it. I wish I could.”