The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Plateau state governorship candidate in the 2019 election, Gen Jeremiah Useni (retd), has said Nigeria is not yet mature politically to jettison the zoning arrangement put in place to accommodate the country’s geo-political divides.
The former FCT minister, who was reacting to recent calls from some quotas that zoning should be abandoned for the 2023 general elections, said the zoning arrangement as originally conceived has enabled the emergence of leaders at different levels of society and from diverse communities.
Useni, who is said this when he received in audience some party officials, elders, and stakeholders from Zawan district of Jos South local government area of Plateau state, insisted that the country was not ripe enough to do away with the zoning arrangement.
“Rotational leadership is best for us for now. It gives people the freedom and opportunity to be involved in establishing and running the government of their choice at different levels.
“Nigeria is not yet ripe to have leaders produced from only one area all the time and so deny others. Even in the days of military rule, leadership was always balanced to give fair representation to all parts of the country,” he said.
Useni, who was the immediate past Senator representing Plateau South, maintained that, “If you allow only specific areas to produce leaderships, it will breed bitterness, hatred and crisis because many communities will feel left out of being involved to also run their own affairs.”
He appealed to the Zawan delegation to stay united, work hard and pray for the victory of the PDP in all the tribunals.
“When we receive positive judgement at the tribunal, we will set up a government that will be inclusive and correct the many imbalances in our representations. We must unite the people of Plateau in our governance,” he said.
The leader of the delegation, Mr James Stephen Pam, said they were in Gen Useni’s residence to show support, solidarity and to pray for his success at the election petition tribunal where he is challenging the victory of APC candidate Governor Governor Simon Lalong.
Pam said, “PDP leaders, supporters and stakeholders in Zawan have full confidence in your leadership and that is why the party supported you fully during the primaries as well as giving the highest number of votes among all the districts in Jos South in the general elections.”