NEWS

Asaba Accord splits northern Reps caucus

By Odira Nwachukwu

Tuesday May 18, 2021

 

The Asaba declaration of the Southern Governors Forum has brought about a splint in the northern caucus of the Federal House of Representatives.

The splinter group is said to be pushing the interest of the minorities in the north and are said to be in support of the Asaba declaration of the Southern Governors.

The group, which is predominantly made up of lawmakers from the North-Central geopolitical zone, as well as Southern Kaduna and other parts of the North-West, is particularly seeking to challenge the Fulani hegemony, which has allegedly led to marginalisation of minority tribes in the North, as well as the Hausa.

While there are opposition voices from prominent groups and persons from the North, the northern lawmakers hailed the Southern Governors’ Forum over its recent meeting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, where it passed a nine-point resolution.

The group issued a statement on Thursday, signed by Messrs Amos Gwamna (Kaduna), Solomon Maren (Plateau), Rimande Shawulu (Taraba), Mark Gbillah (Benue), Tajudeen Yusuf (Kogi) and Usman Sokodabo (FCT), backing the southern governors on their recommendations on the affairs of the country.

Gbillah later withdrew from the statement.

When contacted on Monday, Yusuf also confirmed the move and the reason behind it.

The lawmaker said, “We are a minority in the North and have always been oppressed. Let me tell you this: the most oppressed people in the North are the minorities. As of now, we are a minority party. Deep down in the North too, we also want the minority to have a voice.

“Majority of us in the PDP are minorities (tribes) from the North. There are a few of us from Zamfara and Sokoto. Even those from Zamfara are Hausa and they are oppressed; they are not Fulani. Zamfara is 99 per cent Fulani. People don’t understand those dynamics.”

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Another prominent member of the group, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said the lawmakers were considering selecting a leader from among themselves, while considering the ranks and experiences of the candidates.

He said the group will seek to forge a non-partisan alliance with members of the house from the southern part of the country to hellp bring to an end Fulani domination and marginalisation of the rest of the country.

Yusuf, who is representing Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency in Kogi, also issued a statement on Monday to back the southern governors.

The statement was titled, ‘Lawmaker Applauds Southern Governors for Rising Above Partisanship on Grazing Issue…Urges Northern Governors to Emulate Southern Counterparts…Condemns Over-Dependence on Federal Statutory Allocations.’

The lawmaker said in view of the “extreme cluelessness and bias of the APC Federal Government,” southern governors’ non-partisan objectivity deserved further applause.

According to Yusuf,  the 19 northern governors to take a similarly bold, pro-people stance.

Meanwhile, a group, Oodua Youth Coalition, on Monday said it was in support of the resolutions taken by the southern governors in Asaba, Delta State, on the state of the country.

This was contained in a statement issued by the group’s President, Oluyi Akintade, and Secretary, Ajogbonlo Oluwagbenga.

“However, while waiting for these governors to stay true to their demands and see to its logical conclusion, we, at Oodua Youth Coalition, demand that the South-West governors implement these suggestions and positions in their respective states for equity and fairness,”  the group added.

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