The Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP, has urged members-elect of the Ninth House of Representatives to consider religious balancing, character and integrity in electing their Speaker.
The group, comprising the opposition parties in the country, made the appeal on Sunday in Abuja at a world press conference addressed by its Co-National Spokesperson, Mr Mark Adebayo.
The group argued that, with the multi-ethnic and multi-religious nature of the country, efforts must be made to ensure balance in political offices.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is a Muslim; his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo is a Christian. It is also clear that the position of the Senate President will be occupied by a Muslim Senator from the North-East.
“Therefore, in line with the APC zoning arrangement, the Speaker of the House of Representatives from the South-West must be a Christian. The delicate religious inclinations in the country must be balanced.
“The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the umbrella Christian body, had already raised the red flag on this and it is important for members-elect to take cognizance of the fact,” Adebayo said.
Adebayo said that while CUPP was not against the decision of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to zone the leadership of the parliament, it would be wrong for the ruling party to micro-zone the positions to certain individuals.
“It would not be out of place to quickly remind the authorities that competence, capacity and character cannot be ruled out in the Speakership race and that doing everything against voice of reasons and all evidences to the contrary will not portray Nigeria well.
“In truth, the composition of the house and it’s leadership is our national identity and the face of the nation. The top echelon of the ruling party and spirited Nigerians must not look the other way,” he said.
Adebayo called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling party to order the anti-corruption agency to investigate the allegations of malfeasances against some of those angling to occupy the position of Speaker of the Ninth Assembly. (NAN)