As permutations and expectations continue to build up ahead of the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly, Senator Chris Adighije has said that anything short of the post of Deputy Senate President would not be acceptable to the South East geopolitical zone.
Adighije, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia State, made this known in an interview published by Sunday Sun.
The ex-senator, who lamented what he termed unfair treatment of the Igbo in the past, urged the party to zone the Deputy Senate Presidency to the South East for the sake of equity.
“Anybody who is trying to do anything that will exclude the Southeast in the distribution of key offices will clearly not be fair. The Southeast mostly made up of Igbo are formidable part of the tripod that forms Nigeria. The Southeast in 2015 in the APC government appeared to have been shortchanged and everybody was complaining that Southeast did not vote for that government. But you can see in this latest election result that the Southeast has performed very well. Whereas in 2015, the percentage vote for Mr. President was less than 10 per cent, this time, it’s approaching 40 per cent. So, the Southeast has come up strongly and it must be seen as a formidable leg of the tripod. They have the Yoruba, the Hausa and the Igbo. This time, I believe that the minimum that the Southeast should get should be the Deputy Senate President because the North takes the Senate President, then East should have the Deputy Senate President. The North by this time, I mean the Northeast. Since Mr. President, Buhari is from the Northwest, I will consider the Northeast for the Senate President. The Southwest has the Vice President. So, the East should take number four position. Ordinarily, if we have to follow the tripod, the East should take the Senate President, failing which the minimum they should aim at is the Deputy Senate President for equity and justice and to let the Igbo have a sense of belonging, so that we don’t continue to behave as people who lost the war. Even in the last dispensation when the Deputy Senate President came from the PDP, it still went to the Southeast. The Senate President had been in the East in the early life of this republic. Now, if we lose even the position of the Senate President, it means we are still taking steps backwards and the East will not react kindly to this.”