NANS DEMANDS EQUITABLE ZONING FORMULAR IN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES SPEAKER-SHIP ELECTION, CHALENGES THE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO RESIST THE IMPOSITION OF CANDIDATES.

Gbajabiamila, Odewunmi & Bago.

The leadership of the Senate of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) having thoroughly examined the underlying dynamics in the Speaker-ship election in the House of Representatives, and rising from a critical stakeholders meeting where it deliberated on matters arising at the National Assembly have held and resolved as follows.


1. That the hitherto history of the leadership of the House of Representatives over the years leaves a lot to be desired, not in terms of performance strictly, but in the failure of the Green Chamber to set itself as a shining example in keeping with the constitutional directive that Federal Character be reflected at all levels of government in the spirit of fairness and national integration. 

2. Federal Character as interpreted by law and practice simply implies that all geo-political zones in Nigeria be afforded the opportunity  to have its share of fair and equal opportunity in holding public office. 

The House of Representatives, as we shall briefly detail below, has failed woefully in this regards in choosing the leadership of its Chambers and this places on the incoming 9th House of Representatives members the burden of rewriting history on the side of equity and fairness in line with constitutional principles of representation. 

3. NANS is well aware of the inherent zoning formulae which holds sway at party levels but is of the position that party politics is NOT superior to what is constitutionally and morally fair. Incoming members of the House of Representatives must do well to abide only by a disposition that does not pitch them on the wrong side of history and the people, in that its choice of leaders must be in consonance with the principle of equity in power sharing. 

4. NANS,  having undertaken the pains to research the history of the House of Representatives leadership stumbled on a knowledge that is as profoundly astonishing as it is ridiculous. 

Our examination of the role call of past Speakers and Deputy-Speakers of the House of Representatives shows that while ALL OTHER geo-political zones in Nigeria, namely the North West,  North East, South West,  South South  and South East have been opportune to produce a string of Speakers or Deputies thereof, the North Central have been habitually sidelined and relegated in that regard. 

5. Can it be argued that between 1999 & 2015 there have been no representatives worth the office of Speaker or Deputy-Speaker from the North Central ? What claim to Federal Character avails the Green Chambers in light of its obvious relegation of one zone to the benefit of others? 

6. The House of Representatives holds a special place in the hearts of most Nigerian youths given it is the federal legislative chamber with a greater composition of youths in it. This places on the members of the Green Chamber the necessity to lead the other Chamber in taking a stand where it matters regardless of whose ox is gored. 

Genuine effort must be made by the new members of the Green Chambers to interrogate and align its leadership history on the side of what seems just and equitable. 

7. While NANS is of the opinion that the leadership of the National Assembly at all time should be a matter with no bearing on party politics, it concedes that our experience as a people has been that the majority party holds the trump card in this matters. 
With the position of President, Vice-president and National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress already held by the Northwest, Southwest and South-South, it seems clear that this zones have staked a claim and must let others be positioned accordingly. 

This leaves the South-East, South-South and North-Central with a better claim in equity, fairness and good conscience to stake a claim for leadership of the Green Chamber. The matrix is easily drawn in favor of North Central given that of the three remaining zones only it is as yet to produce a leadership at that level. 

While the performance of each zones may be called in by the powers that -be in determining what zone is elevated to the leadership position of the House of Representatives, NANS cautions against all attempts to sacrifice merit for political patronage.

Conclusion.
NANS leadership will continue to watch and follow the intrigues as they unfold at the National Assembly. All Nigerians are stakeholders in the elections at the National Assembly as it determines, going forward,  the smooth running  of governance.