Some South-West leaders are
currently biting their fingers in regret
over voting President Muhammadu
Buhari into office.
buhariThe zone is particularly angry with
the President, who is the leader of the
All Progressives Congress, APC, for
tolerating the outcome of National
Assembly leadership election, which
did not favour the region.
Buhari’s silence according to them is a
serious indication that the zone, which
queued behind him to ensure victory
at the recent polls, may benefit little or
nothing from the administration.
“For the fact that the South-West
played a key role in the emergence of
Buhari as the President, it is expected
that they would occupy a more
strategic position than the post of vice
president”, said one of the leaders.
They argued that the National
Assembly leadership election, which
eventually placed the North Central
geopolitical zone as a powerful force in
the country’s power equation through
the emergence of former Kwara
governor, Bukola Saraki, as Senate
President and Yakubu Dogara from the
North-East, has depicted the South-
West as not only a weak power bloc in
the equation.
With the power structure now,
the South-West as a region has been
relegated to the background in the
power structure of the country.
Some of the leaders of the region who
also participated in the last National
Conference argue that since the South-
West does not hold any substantial
position in the current power structure,
the region must re-strategise to assert
itself in the politics of the nation.
They further argued that the position
of Vice President, which is presently
held by a south westerner, does not
place the region as a powerful force.
While referring to one of the speeches
made by former President Goodluck
Jonathan during the campaigns leading
up to the 2015 general elections,
National Coordinator of Coalition
of Democrats for Electoral Reform,
CODER, Chief Ayo Opadokun, a
South-West leader, who spoke to the
Nigerian Pilot Sunday on the current
power imbalance, noted that the
Yoruba race made a great mistake by
not re-electing the former President,
considering what he had in stock for
the zone.
He emphasised that the
implementation of the National
Conference report would elevate
the standard of the zone, which is
the reason people of the South-West
should have queued behind Jonathan.
“Failure to do this needful may spell
doom for the zone as their trust in their
forged alliance with North would lead
to regret.
“Certainly, as the power structure is,
there is the need for the Yoruba race to
re-strategise on the way they would
reassert themselves in the country’s
politics and power equation,”
Opadokun advised.
Also lending his voice on the skewed
power structure, image maker of Pro-
National Conference, Wale Okunniyi,
faulted the emergence of Saraki and
Dogara, which he described as a
conspiracy against the Yoruba nation
by some powerful forces in the APC.
He stated further that it was
unfortunate that the South-West did
not get the speakership of the House of
Representative, as the region pushed
forward Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
He condemned Sen. Saraki and Hon.
Dogara for not adhering strictly to
the party’s position, stressing that the
leadership of the Yoruba people need
to redirect their plan for the region
would benefit in the current state of the
country politics.
Okunniyi said, “What happened
at the National Assembly was a
conspiracy against Yoruba nation by
some powerful forces in the APC.
Although, we hold the Vice President
position, we lost the speakership. This
calls for total re-strategising by Yoruba
leadership so that we can have our
way in this current power structure.”
However, a prominent South-
West leader and lawyer, Asiwaju Bisi
Adegbuyi, stressed that as for now the
Yoruba race needs self-determination
rather than a symbolic representation.
“Yoruba race should know what they
want. Yoruba made progress when Chief Obafemi Awolowo led us.
Also speaking to this paper, a PDP
chieftain from the zone, Barrister
Olayinka Sanni, put the blame on the
selfish interest of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
He said that Tinubu’s selfish interest
was pushing the South-West backward.
According to him, “the system of leadertakes-
all that Tinubu used in Lagos
politics gave the undue advantage to
Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara as
Senate President and Speaker of the
Federal House of Representatives.
“He derives pleasure from cheating
people in public. If they had not
conducted the mock election, Femi
Gbajabiamila would have won since it
would have happened at the same time
in both chambers,’’ he noted, adding that
going by the trend of things, South-West
might be forced to pressurise President
Buhari to implement the part of the
recommendation of the Confab which
would be favorable to them.
However, notwithstanding the current
leadership positions in the National
Assembly, which the South-West
complains about being relegated to the
second fiddle, the zone clinched the
position of Deputy Speaker
Hon. Yusuf Lasun had in spite of the All
Progressives Congress endorsement of
his opponent Monguno Tahir, polled 203
votes to defeat Tahir, who had 153 votes.
Mr. Lasun represents Irepodun,
Olorunda, Osogbo Federal Constituency
in Osun State.
But according to analysts, with the
victory of Bukola Saraki as the Senate
President and Yakubu Dogara as the
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
the six geopolitical zones appear to have
benefitted from power sharing.
All the zones, North-West, North-
East, North Central, South-West, South-
East and South-South are adequately
represented at the centre.
While Senator Saraki hails from Kwara
State, North Central zone, Rep. Dogara is
from Bauchi State, North East Nigeria.
The same for Deputy Senate President,
Ike Ekweremadu, an indigene of Enugu
State in the South-East zone.
The Deputy Speaker of the House,
Yusuf Lasun, is from Osun State in the
President, Mohammed Buhari is from
Katsina State, North-West zone while his
deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, hails from Ogun
State also in the South-West zone.
The South-South is represented in the
capacity of John Odigie Oyegun, National
Chairman of the All Progressives
Congress, APC, the ruling party.

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