Today, zoning has become a mantra that must not just be sung by politicians irrespective of party affiliation, it has assumed the status of an unwritten political grundnorm.
Mr. Sam Ohuabunwa, a presidential candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party, believes Nigeria is not yet ready to abandon the zoning system.
This was stated by Ohuabunwa, the Convener of the New Nigeria Group, at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said that, for the time being, abandoning zoning would be a bad idea due to the country’ s political evolution and ethnic variety.
According to Ohuabunwa, zoning is still required to ensure inclusiveness, in which the interests of both the majority and minority are protected.
He said that, given the country’ s variety, zoning, ” which is basically the federal character, if abandoned, ” Nigeria would not be a wholesome nation.
” I believe the framers of the 1999 Constitution intended for the federal character to be preserved.
” What is the essence of the federal character? ” says the narrator. It basically implies that no single religion or ethnic group should have a monopoly on public space and government offices.
” As a result, the federal character of the presidency is relevant. ” That implies no single group should be able to produce the president all of the time, ” he explained.
The civil service, according to Ohuabunwa, would have been dominated by a segment of Nigeria if there had been no federal character.
He stated that zoning must continue until every area of the country produces a president before a collective decision to reject the system can be taken.
” It can’ t be done unilaterally; we have to agree as a group, ” the aspirant explained.
Ohuabunwa, who believes that zoning would be phased out until Nigeria eliminates the question of state of origin, as is now practiced in certain other nations.
” Zoning must continue as long as Nigeria operates states of origin, ” he stressed.
For the purpose of equality, he believes it is natural for the South, particularly the South East, to produce the next president of Nigeria.
Ohuabunwa stated that one of his missions is to create a new Nigeria that works for everyone.
” A Nigeria in which the North, South, East, and West, the Middle Belt, the South- South, and the minority and majority communities all feel equal and at home. ”
He stated that if given the chance, every Nigerian would be a crucial participant in the nation’ s affairs, and that if given the chance, he would restore the country’ s grandeur to that of Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, China, and India.
He vowed to use his private- sector expertise, such as when he chaired the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, to help the country thrive.
” I headed the Nigerian American Chambers of Commerce, led the private sector, and was engaged in the development of Vision 2010, Vision 2020, and Nigerian political reform, but it’ s all for nought since I can’ t see the results, ” he added.
The anti- zoning groups are of the view that the only way the party can win the 2023 presidential election is to discard zoning and allow aspirants from all parts of the country to contest in the primary.
Governors from the South, under the aegis of Southern Governors’ Forum (SGF), are no longer on the same page on their earlier resolution that political parties in the country, especially the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), must not field any Northerner as presidential candidate for the 2023 general election.