Zoning was Obasanjo's concoction, not a national consensus — Sani

He said no National agreement on zoning.

Friday, July 31, 2020

/ by National Pivot

Controversy surrounding zoning or power rotation in Nigeria, rages on as a former Secretary-General of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Chief Anthony Sani, has accused former president Olusegun Obasanjo of enthroning politics of zoning in the country when "foisted President Yar’Adua on the nation" in 2007.

He said zoning arrangements are purely a political party affair, and not a national consensus.

Sani made the statement yesterday in response to clamor that power be zoned to the Southeast region in 2023.

He said: “I find it curious when some groups like Ohanaeze would say that President Buhari was a product of national consensus on zoning or rotation of position of president to the North. The fact of history says no to that.

“I agree that the annulment of elections of June 12, 1993, morally blackmailed the nation into fielding General Obasanjo of PDP and Chief Olu Falai of AD/APP in 1999 to make up for the annulment and death of the winner, Chief MKO Abiola.

“I also agree that President Obasanjo wanted to enthrone politics of zoning and rotation when he foisted President Yar’Adua on the nation.

“But this did not last because apart from General Buhari’s bid in 2003 against President Obasanjo which was against letter and spirit of zoning/rotation, President Jonathan from the South contested against President Buhari from the North not only in 2011 but also in 2015.

“In 2019, of about 76 presidential candidates, about 70 were southerners. All these shows there is no national consensus on rotation and zoning that is binding on political parties.

“Therefore, it is either the proponents of politics of identity symbolised by rotation and zoning make it a law or they design a winning game plan and sell to the nation to secure their needed electoral mandate.

“The publicity secretary of ACF is right when he said yesterday (Thursday) that currently, rotation and zoning are still affairs of political parties and must be seen and treated as such in the interest of our multiparty democracy.”

However, in response to Sani's comment, President of Ohaneze Ndigbo in Anambra State, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, according to The Nation, said Sani’s comments bordered on selfishness.

He believes it will be selfish for the North not to support the Southeast for the presidency in 2023.

He said Nigerians massively voted for President Buhari during the 2015 general election partly to compensate for the death of former President Yar'Adua.

“Why are they no longer thinking towards rotation? Is it because the position is coming to the South? Is that not sign of being selfish?

“A President from the Southeast in 2023 is a right and not a privilege. It is these denials by the North that has given birth to the various agitations in the land today.

“Calculate the number of years the North had been in power in this country with the South, yet, they are not better off.”

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