Primaries:  Ignore zoning, Akwa Ibom CLO tells PDP, APC delegates

Anambra deputy governor Dr. Nkem Okeke holds APC flag with President Muhammadu Buhari and Imo state governor Hope Uzodinma while APC caretaker chairman Mai Buni watches


Ahead of the primary elections of both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Akwa Ibom state chapter of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has urged the delegates to shun zoning and vote the most qualified and best aspirants to fly the flags of their parties.

It added that power sharing can be upheld whereby the best candidate can emerge from any zone and other offices can be allotted to different zones based on federal character principle.

The chairman of CLO in the state, Otuekong Franklyn Isong, in a press briefing in Uyo Wednesday, said Nigeria has not fared well in zoning as it breeds mediocrity and incompetency, adding that most times the best aspirants who can turn the fortunes of the country around are turned down because of zoning.

Isong regretted that since the Electoral Act allows for indirect primaries where the delegates determine the fate of Nigerians, the delegates should be discreet in their choices in fielding a candidate so that the country will not be plunged into worse situation than it Is currently experiencing.

He said, “Unfortunately in Nigeria, we have Electoral Act that supports indirect primaries and our fate is on the delegates. I urge all the delegates to vote the best and forget about zoning. What we need now is to consider the best person for the job. After the best candidate must have emerged, we talk of power sharing for equity and fair play.

“Zoning breeds mediocrity, incompetency and bad governance. We need an open space where everybody can test his popularity at the polls. Elections ought to be where people go and choose from among the multitudes of aspirants. We can have power sharing, to stabilise the polity.”