Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Imo State, Chief Brady Chijioke Nwosu, has said that the rotation of political offices is the best for a multi-ethnic nation like Nigeria. In an interview with Daily Sun, Nwosu, while maintaining that it is the turn of the North to produce the President in 2011 as espoused by the founding fathers of the party, noted that it is only through zoning and rotation of political offices that every region will have access to political power at the top
Zoning has been with us
In 1914, it was two regions, the North and South that amalgamated to form Nigeria under Lord Lugard. Before then, in 1908, the West and the East had fused to become Southern protectorate with headquarters in Lagos. At independence, even though there were three regions - East, North and West, the federal seats were shared on the principle of 1914, which only recognized the North and the South. That was the reason why 50 percent of seats at the federal house went to the North while the South, which comprised East and West shared the remaining 50 per cent equally. This principle has been followed and maintained by successive governments. Even during state creation, this principle was upheld.
During the Second Republic, the five and later six political parties enshrined the unwritten agreement of the principle of North and South for power rotation. The ruling National Party of Nigeria (NPN) recognized North and South as the parameter for power rotation, which would have led to power shifting to South after the termination of Alhaji Shehu Shagari’s tenure in 1987 had the military not struck to truncate the civilian government then.
It was during the constitutional conference set up by late the General Sani Abacha that the idea of six zones came into focus. Of these six zones, three are in the North and the other three are in the South. When the present ruling PDP was formed in 1998 by politicians from various zones, they agreed that for equity to be institutionalized in the polity generally, power should rotate between North and South with South taking the first slot of eight years (1999 - 2007) and thereafter the North. No groups, persons or zones objected to this. After the unfortunate death of former President Umaru Yar’Adua from North and the eventual ascension of Goodluck Jonathan, his deputy, to presidency, this principle that has held us together is about to be cast overboard as politicians currying favour of the president now see truth as anathema and are speaking from both sides of their mouths against the rotation principle in the party.
Jonathan is a beneficiary of zoning
President Jonathan is a beneficiary of the same zoning of political office he now wants to do away with. He should be humble and grateful enough to God that has brought him so far without shedding much sweat. Jonathan should avoid the hangers-on that want to drag him to run in 2011. This will be taking his good luck too far, thereby destroying the present order, which in the long run will generate bad blood.
Whether we like it or not, in a multi-ethnic nation like ours with low literacy level and where citizens have much attachment to place of origin, ethnicity and religion will for a long time be determinant factors in deciding our political leaders. Is it possible to elect both president and vice of the same religion from the same zone irrespective of their competence? The answer is no, which is why ethnicity is an issue. We should respect the rotation principle and ensure that only the most competent from the zone whose turn it is to produce the presidency occupies such office. Every zone at any time has credible people to run for the highest office in the land.
The fear of Jonathan running for 2011
After his first term that ends in 2015, he would go for second term since the constitution allows him and would end up in 2019. That means he must have ruled for nine years making him the longest civilian president. Since it is now survival of the fittest, if power eventually goes to the North, it will be difficult for another zone to get it again because, the North is monolithic unlike the South. There is the advantage of population for the North, which has more local governments, wards, states, and more members in the National Assembly. So if 20 years after 2019 and the North are still holding to power, the cry by the South against northern domination should not arise. We should remember that it was the seed that was sown in 2011 that the South will be reaping.
This is the best time to avoid the hue and cry of northern domination of political power in future by the South. We should remember that in 1999, the SouthWest rejected Obasanjo and didn’t vote for him but with the northern votes he won without the support of his people. That tells the strength of the north.
Jonathan 2011 is no threat to IBB
Even though it is assumed that Jonathan is running in 2011, he can’t hinder IBB’s ambition. The President has not contested any election before. He has no political structure. It will be unfortunate that the first time he would be contesting election that he would fail. If I were Jonathan, I will resist the temptations and quit while the ovation is loudest. If there is a level playing field as he is canvassing through the electoral reforms, the President will lose in his contest against IBB. The former military President has much advantage over him. IBB is bridge-builder and does not have boundary. He is easily accessible with immeasurable goodwill. Apart from his military and security knowledge, he has good interpersonal memory and cognizance and wealth of experience from the past.
I want to reposition Imo State
Imo State is experiencing the biblical Ichabod. The glory has left the state. It is my desire to bring the lost glory of the state. I am coming to restore hope in place of despair and gnashing of teeth. The governor Ikedi Ohakim has tried his best in the state.
With me, Imo people will experience a new lease of life. All that make life meaningful will be provided. The expectation is so great on the people as they will have their destinies fulfilled.