- Category: Politics
- Published on Monday, 02 May 2011 07:50
- Written by Admin
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FEELERS from government circles, at the weekend, indicated that the president-elect, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, is tinkering with the idea of a new National Unity Government, which would see nominees from, at least, three opposition parties in the new administration.
It was gathered in Abuja, at the weekend, that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which took control of five of the six states in the South-West, could be asked to nominate three ministers into the new government, which comes into office on May 29.
Sources told the Nigerian Tribune that the president was also considering accepting nominations from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), which contributed to the victory recorded by the president in the South-East and the Labour Party (LP), which helped in delivering Ondo State to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the presidential election.
It was gathered that top leaders of the three parties were already in the know of the coming development.
A source said that the new government might not be tagged Government of National Unity (GNU) unlike the cabinet assembled by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2007. But it was gathered that the new administration would have all the trappings of a GNU, even though it might not officially carry the appellation.
Sources said that the government was avoiding a situation where all the political parties in the land would seek to contribute members to the cabinet in the name of GNU.
The development is coming on the heels of the raging controversy over the new zoning formula to be adopted by the government and the PDP in the new dispensation.
In the current zoning arrangement, North-Central will produce the Senate President; South-West, Speaker, House of Representatives; South-East, Deputy Senate President; North-East, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives.
The South-South and the North-West had produced the president and vice-president respectively.
At the weekend, some lawmakers backed by forces from the North started a subtle campaign aimed at influencing the rejig of the zoning arrangement.
While some of the forces were of the view that the North-Central could have the Senate President, they were also saying that the North-West could produce the Speaker of the House of Representatives on behalf of the North.
Their claim was hinged on the fact that once a Christian emerges as Senate President, the Speaker should automatically come from an area where Muslims dominate.
It was equally gathered at the weekend that all hopes may not be lost on the possibility of a speaker emerging from the South-West, as two ranking members who won re-election into the House of Representatives were Muslims.
Those arguing in favour of the South-West were said to have insisted that since the president had told the whole world that his government was a continuation of the administration of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, it may not be wise for him to alter the zoning arrangement as it were.
As some forces were pushing for the retention of the current zoning arrangement, others were seeking a transfer of the Senate presidency to the North-East, while they wanted the position of the speaker given to the South-East. (Tribune)