APC 2023: Even if zoning formula is unconstitutional

The hot race for the APC presidential and chairmanship seats is exceedingly boiling towards the upcoming national convention of the party in June 2021 in which the new national chairman and presidential candidate will emerge.

Perhaps, the issue of zoning formula or rotational power will definitely arise in determining key positions of the party despite its being said to be unconstitutional by those who are consumed with desire for contesting the presidential seat. To be frank, whether power rotation is constitutional or not, the principles of democracy, social justice and equality of status and opportunity advocates it in chapter II, section 14 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, amended.  

To be equitable for those who made great sacrifices for PMB in the southern part in 2015, foster our newborn democracy and avoid a gargantuan crack in the party, the presidential candidate should be produced from the South while the national chairman should emerge from the North. Zoning the party’s presidential ticket to the North could be tantamount to dismantling the party. So, favour deserves to be returned to those who gave it to the North in the 2015 general elections.

It is vital for the party to apply balancing or rotational power during the national convention of the party in June this year in order to break the prediction of the opposition that the party will fall apart shortly after its forthcoming national convention.

I realise that most of those who are opposing the zoning formula are those who are burning for the presidential seat in the North. Recently, the former governor of Lagos state, and incumbent Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, said,” Zoning agreement should be respected”. One of those who had their hearts set on the presidential seat said, ”APC has no zoning agreement on 2023”.

The aforesaid reaction to Fashola’s good suggestion is opening a can of worms in the party. But, Kaduna state governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufa’i’s view concurs with that of Mr. Fashola as he said,” There was a standing agreement that the presidency should be zoned to the South after the eight-year rule of the North, although the agreement was not enshrined in the party’s constitution, politicians are aware of it. That is why I came out and said that after President Buhari’s eight years, no northerner should contest for the office. Let the southerners also have eight years”.

It is apparent that an agreement is similar to a promise and promises are not made to be broken. A promise should be as binding as a and a legitimate and perfect person is a man of his words. Hence, promises are like crying babies in a theater, they should be carried out at once.

Now, the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmad Tinubu, is the brightest moon among the stars of the South. His great contribution made during 2015 general election should be reciprocated and allowed to clinch the presidential ticket. There will be also a strong and frightening thunder that will undoubtedly crack the party if the party chooses a Muslim as his running mate in the North. The party will only be safe and remain united when it chooses a Christian from North-East as his running mate.

Besides, another very intense and fascinating race for chairmanship of the APC is now heating up in the North. Those said to be vying for the seat are: Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara state, Senator Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa state, Senator Danjuma Goje of Gombe state, Senator Geoge Akume of Benue state, Senator Kashim Shettima of Borno state and Ali Modu Sheriff of Borno state. And early this month, former governor of Bauchi state Mallam Isah Yuguda had also joined in this captivating race.

Conclusively, the principles of democracy, social justice, egalitarianism and noble social etiquette definitely favour the South to clinch the APC presidential ticket even if it is unconstitutional. Every favour should be reciprocated by only good people and legitimate sons.

Mustapha Baba Azare,     

Alkali Musa Street, Bauchi


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