2023 Pres­i­dency: Ango Ab­dul­lahi re­ceives knocks for op­pos­ing zon­ing

Chuk­wudi Akasike, Ade­lani Ade­pegba, God­win Isenyo, James Abra­ham and Raphael Ede

The Punch - - FRONT PAGE -

The Con­vener of the North­ern El­ders’ Fo­rum, Prof. Ango Ab­dul­lahi, on Tues­day came un­der fire for say­ing that the pres­i­dency of Nige­ria should “stay in Nige­ria” and not zone to any re­gion in 2023.

he spoke to news­men shortly af­ter the open­ing cer­e­mony of a pub­lic lec­ture in Kaduna.

Asked whether the North would re­lin­quish the pres­i­dency in 2023, the NEF’S boss said there was no por­tion of the con­sti­tu­tion which said the Nige­rian pres­i­dency should be ro­tated among the eth­nic groups or re­gions in the coun­try.

he said the ro­ta­tion of the Pres­i­dent be­tween the North and the South was the mak­ing of po­lit­i­cal par­ties, par­tic­u­larly the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party, which he claimed jet­ti­soned the un­writ­ten rule un­der ex­pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan.

he said, “Go and check the con­sti­tu­tion, there is no place it said the pres­i­dent of Nige­ria will be shared ac­cord­ing to lo­cal gov­ern­ments, states or geopo­lit­i­cal zones. In fact, geopo­lit­i­cal zone does not ex­ist in the con­sti­tu­tion. Go and check,” he added.

But so­cio-cul­tural groups, namely Afenifere, Ohanaeze, Mid­dle Belt Fo­rum and the Ijaw Youth Coun­cil, have knocked Ab­du­lalhi, say­ing his dec­la­ra­tion was provoca­tive.

The Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odu­makin, cau­tioned Ab­dul­lahi against tak­ing the rest of the coun­try for granted by mak­ing provoca­tive state­ments.

he said, “Peo­ple like Ango Ab­dul­lahi are get­ting car­ried away with the ‘reap­ing with­out sow­ing men­tal­ity’ and they are be­gin­ning to talk any­how in a very provoca­tive and an­noy­ing man­ner to the rest of the coun­try.

“They should be care­ful not to push us to the wall. They should be care­ful about their provoca­tive ut­ter­ances. That peo­ple are tol­er­at­ing them does not mean they (the peo­ple) are stupid.”

Also, the Ohanaeze Na­tional Pub­lic­ity Sec­re­tary, Prince Uche Achi-ok­paga, who spoke to The PUNCH, de­scribed Ab­dul­lahi as an “eth­nic chau­vin­ist who thinks be­cause they have power now, they can use it the way they so de­sire.”

Achi-ok­paga said, “In all the 36 states ev­ery po­si­tion is zoned. The gov­er­nor­ship is zoned and the speaker does not come from the zone of the gov­er­nor. In the party ev­ery po­si­tion is zoned to the re­spec­tive zones of the state. If you go to the Na­tional As­sem­bly po­si­tions are zoned. At the na­tional level po­si­tions are zoned.

“Just be­cause some peo­ple feel that they are at the helm of af­fairs and they can do what they want with power, they be­gin to make per­mu­ta­tions that are not ob­tain­able any­where. In the APC there’s zon­ing; in the pres­i­dency there’s zon­ing – the Pres­i­dent is from the North, the Vice Pres­i­dent is from the South-west. Is that not zon­ing?

“The chair­man of the APC is from the South-south. They have con­tin­ued to zone ev­ery po­si­tion ev­ery time. Why are they try­ing to de­vi­ate from that ar­range­ment? Such ar­range­ment ex­ists even within the pres­i­dency. Why are they try­ing to de­rail as if it has not been in ex­is­tence?

“Even in Ab­dul­lahi’s house, there is zon­ing. If he has chil­dren, does he give ev­ery­thing to one of his chil­dren? he zones ev­ery­thing. he shares his wealth ac­cord­ing to the size and num­ber of his chil­dren. he doesn’t give it to one per­son. So there is zon­ing in ev­ery­thing.

“When he says there is no zon­ing, I think he is not telling him­self the truth.

“he is only be­ing chau­vin­is­tic. That is how eth­nic­ity has re­duced us in Nige­ria.”

Also, the Na­tional Pres­i­dent of the MBF, Dr Bitrus Porgu, who spoke with one of our cor­re­spon­dents in Jos on Tues­day, ar­gued that although no such pro­vi­sion ex­ists in the con­sti­tu­tion, pro­vi­sion was made for fed­eral char­ac­ter.

he ad­vised Ab­dul­lahi to be na­tion­al­is­tic in his po­si­tion, in­stead of re­duc­ing him­self to a sec­tional leader

he said, “Our found­ing fa­thers thought it wise that there should be ro­ta­tional pres­i­dency, so that there would be bal­ance and eq­uity in the coun­try. If any­one thinks that be­cause they are in power and can use the ma­chin­ery of gov­ern­ment to co­erce other sec­tions of the coun­try into sub­mis­sion, it is sim­ply a call to an­ar­chy and those cham­pi­oning this should know that Nige­ri­ans are not ready to take it be­cause this gov­ern­ment has caused so much pain to them.”

Sim­i­larly, the Pres­i­dent, IYC, Eric Omare, ex­pressed dis­sat­is­fac­tion with Ab­dul­lahi’s state­ment against ro­ta­tional pres­i­dency.

Omare said, “That state­ment by Prof. Ango Ab­dul­lahi shows that the el­ders of this coun­try have lost their con­science. Peo­ple like Ango Ab­dul­lahi, at his age, should be the con­science of this coun­try in terms of speak­ing the truth.

“That state­ment by Ango Ab­dul­lahi is a study in self­con­tra­dic­tion and it shows that the el­ders have lost their con­science and as youths of this coun­try, we are highly dis­ap­pointed in him. At his age, he should be able to speak the truth, no mat­ter the cir­cum­stances.

“I have al­ways said that 2023 is the turn of the South and in south­ern Nige­ria, it is the turn of the South-east. I have also called on the peo­ple of the South-east to start their drive for the Pres­i­dency be­cause you don’t get power by sit­ting at home.”

•L-R: Deputy Gov­er­nor of Oyo State, Rauf Olaniyan; Li­ai­son Of­fi­cer on Akinyele/egbeda Fed­eral Con­stituency, Mrs Wule­motu Ibitoye; Chair­man, Li­ai­son Of­fi­cers on Fed­eral Con­stituency in Oyo State, Chief Jacob Adetoro; Oyo State Gov­er­nor, Seyi Makinde; and other of­fi­cers, dur­ing their in­au­gu­ra­tion at Gov­er­nor’s Of­fice in Ibadan… on Tues­day. Photo: Oyo State Gov­ern­ment

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.