Failure To Produce South-West Speaker Still Haunts Me— Jonathan


President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed regrets at his inability to stop Aminu Tambuwal and install a South West politician as Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2011.

He said he is still suffering for failing in that enterprise.

Speaking on Friday at the Yoruba Unity Summit themed: ‘National Development: Wither the Yoruba,’at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Mr. Jonathan attributed his failure to the selfishness of some Yoruba leaders.

In 2011, Aminu Tambuwal, who is from the Northwest, had defeated Mulikat Akande, a Yoruba from the South West, to emerge the House Speaker.

President Jonathan said he is still suffering from that decision by the Lower House.

“One of the problems I faced in the National Assembly is that I felt the right thing should be done because our party, the PDP, has a formula,” said Mr. Jonathan, who was the special guest of honour at the event.

“We have six geo-political zones in the country and when the President emerges from one of the geo-political zones, the Vice-President emerges from another geo-political zone, the rest core offices, the Senate President, the Speaker, Secretary to Federal Government, the chairman of the party must come from different geo-political zones.

“The idea is that, whenever we are distributing board positions and some of these appointments, whenever we are appointing ministers, all these people sit to take decisions. In that case we want all the geo-political zones to be in the inner caucus that take critical decisions.

“The last time, it was difficult for me because I insisted that the Southwest must get the Speaker. Of course, I couldn’t go through with it because some of us within the Southwest didn’t want it, based on some personal reasons. I am still suffering from that till today.”

President Jonathan said that this time around, the party would work collectively to ensure that the South West gets whatever is zoned to them.

“People should not rob it from us.”

Mr. Jonathan said that the South-West play a huge role in Nigeria’s economy, noting that Lagos and Ogun States alone control 55 percent of the economy.

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