2023: PANDEF Blasts Atiku Over Zoning Statement

2023: PANDEF Blasts Atiku Over Zoning Statement.

The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has voiced dissatisfaction with a comment attributed to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 presidential election, on presidential zoning.

Alhaji Atiku was widely quoted as opposing the rotating premise of the president between the North and the South, which, it is assumed, will do the same for the South in 2023.

However, PANDEF’s National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Ken Robinson, stated on Monday that the aim and purpose of Section 14(3) of the Constitution (as amended), which deals with Federal Character, was zoning and rotation.

“It is rather unfortunate that the former Vice President drew such a conclusion.

“He knows his statement is inconsistent with established and justifiable protocols and conventions, which have helped to sustain considerable understanding, peace and stability in the polity.

“Truth is, the narrative that there is no zoning in the nation’s Constitution is a conscienceless mockery of our democratic evolution, and indeed, the country’s constitution.

READ ALSO: No Zoning In Nigeria’s Constitution, Atiku Insists

“It bears underscoring that Nigeria’s Constitution, though flawed, has ample provisions that emphasize inclusiveness, fairness and equity.

“Section 14(3) of the Constitution (as amended) provides that ‘the composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few States or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or any of its agencies.’

“The intent and purpose of this section are precise and explicit.

“Zoning and rotation of key political positions in the polity cannot be discarded in a diverse and complex society like Nigeria, particularly, under the prevailing circumstances,” he averred.

PANDEF, therefore, further called on all political parties to zone their presidential ticket to the South, warning that “any political party that does otherwise shall not have our support in 2023.”

“Alhaji Abubakar and other northerners expressing interest to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 ought to understand that their desire flies in the face of natural justice,” says the South-South apex socio-cultural organization.

“It would be, therefore, sufficient to implore former Vice President Abubakar and the other northerners to shelve their ambitions now and support the emergence of credible individuals from the south as presidential candidates of their various political parties.

“Anything otherwise would be undignifying and injurious to national concord.”

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