Kashim Shettima, Vice President-elect, has implored lawmakers-elect to accept the zoning arrangement of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly.
Shettima spoke during a meeting with some House of Representatives members-elect on Friday.
Earlier this week, controversy ensued within the APC after the party nominated Godswill Akpabio, a former Minister of Niger Delta affairs, and Abbas Tajudeen, a House of Representatives member from Kaduna, for the National Assembly leadership positions.
While Akpabio was nominated for President of the Senate, Tajudeen was endorsed for the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The party also nominated Barau Jibrin, Senator representing Kano North, as Deputy Senate President; and Benjamin Kalu, a lawmaker from Abia and current House spokesperson, as Deputy Speaker.
The nominations have been faulted by lawmakers within and outside the party.
Speaking during the meeting with lawmakers-elect, Shettima said APC seeks to avoid a situation where all the top officials of the incoming administration will be of the same faith.
He said the circumstance could “validate the negative narrative of the Islamisation agenda of Nigeria.”
Shettima added that the leadership of the forthcoming national assembly must be inclusive because the “stability of the nation is much more important than any other consideration.”
“What we are trying to avoid is a situation whereby the number one citizen, number two citizen, the number three citizen, and the number four citizen are all of the same faith. That will lend credence, and validate the negative narrative of the Islamisation agenda of Nigeria,” the vice-president-elect said.
“This is why my principal, a fair-minded leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is more inclined towards having the number three citizen from the South/South or the South-east. Even in the current circumstance that we find ourselves in, the stability of the nation is much more important than any other consideration.
“All other considerations have to be relegated to the background because we are talking about the stability of the nation.
“We are talking about inclusivity, we are talking about togetherness because nation-building is a continuous work in progress and politics is about perception, it is about optics. I am quite glad that Benjamin Kalu will emerge as the Deputy Speaker. The hope for the black man rests with the people of this country.”