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On the debate about zoning

The strategies adopted by those in power today and those who thought a Jonathan presidency was their golden opportunity were severely challenged by some of…

The strategies adopted by those in power today and those who thought a Jonathan presidency was their golden opportunity were severely challenged by some of us who saw brazen inhumanity in the desperation for political power and positions. The position we took on the matter angered those who were guilty and their agents in our midst who saw our stance as bitter pills. But one thing I am grateful to God for is that I did not mince words, we said things the way we perceived them and thus freed from the bondage of silence in a nation where insincerity is the rule rather than exception.

President Yar’adua has since passed away, his family is relocated to Katsina and those who desperately desired power are on the saddle. The problems have just began because after almost pushing a sick president to his grave before his time, the new sing song now which many Nigerians are once again exposing their realties is whether the PDP did actually agree that it was going to zone its presidency and other offices across the geo political divides in the country.

Those who are losing out, i.e the Northern political groups are shouting on top of their voices producing all manner of documents and minutes of meetings where such zoning arrangement was reached by the party hierarchy. On the other hand, those who see power in their hands and are ready to stake everything they have to hold on to it and their lackeys are shouting constitution and democracy.

It was constitution and democracy that a goof number of us cited when the issue of zoning was forceful entrenched in the party and even the APP in the count down to the 1999 general elections. We argued vehemently that the arrangement may though be convenient; it was an undemocratic venture the nation was indulging in.

The southern political elites in alliance with their intelligentsia, the press and other pressure groups gave all the coloration and icing to the new concept and forced the pill down the throats of the Northern political groupings who are definitely more in number and thus stronger politically. It became a reality in the PDP and in the nation and even in other political parties.

The center of our discourse today is how on earth would anybody who was part of this arrangement wake up in the morning just because some natural forces are at work and desire to fraudulently deny such an understanding reached between politicians from the two major national divides?

I am not worried if the zoning arrangement by the PDP or any other party for that matter will be disregarded. I am more so not worried because with the new INEC that is in place and appropriate political education across the country, it will be difficult for those who are used to taking the nation for a ride have their way this time around.

I am not worried that Goodluck Jonathan may eventually stand as a candidate under his party or any other one for that matter and perhaps be legitimately elected by the Nigerian people because he controls political and economic resources of the nation or that they have faith in him and as such could deploy as much resources as possible to a very hungry and starving nation who will find no problem in casting their votes for him.

I am worried because the argument about zoning once again exposes the very inherent weaknesses of the political class and their unpreparedness to own up to honor and integrity as major standing pivots in any successful democracy and system. The argument by those who because of their selfish ends would force Jonathan to run in 2011 in my view is misplaced and a mere drive to causing national tension which certainly is avoidable.

Whatever the case may be, INEC is on elections are likely coming up soon. The issue that we all must pay attention to is that our votes must count in the next and subsequent elections. If that is done, any person, no matter where he may be coming from, as long as he meets the regulations may contest elections into any office.

The struggle now is for vote. Those sections of the country where elections never mattered in the past must be tutored into learning and accepting the indispensability of election as the only acceptable way of leadership ascendency in the country.

What we are able to make of the Nigerian situation in the next few months will determine the future of the country. If Goodluck Jonathan would listen to me, I will ask him to organize a credible election of which he is not a contender. He would have succeeded in doing what very few leaders have done for their people and country.  

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