Zoning And Its Effect In The 2023 Presidential Election By Ebimobowei Peter

 



ZONING AND ITS EFFECT IN THE 2023 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

The word “zoning” has  generated alot of furor amongst many Nigerians over the years. It has caused a lot of controversies in the political atmosphere in Nigeria and amongst political juggernauts. There are several concerns concerning the zoning formula being applied in Nigerian elections as some view it as the best way to promote unity in the Country and others as a means of crippling the Democratic process. The term zoning connotes the rotation of political offices to the six geo-political zones in the country. . In previous years,zoning has seem to take credence in the Nigerian political system. The epochs of zoning is to give each and every group regardless of its size, a fair share in political positions which will give birth to unity among Nigerians. It has played a vital role in the emergence of past and present Nigerian leaders.


THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF ZONING?

 The whole idea of zoning cuts across diverse areas of Nigerian political system, ranging from governorship  to presidential elections. However, there is no constitutional backing to the zoning formula. The Constitution  gives each and every qualified citizen of Nigerian the right to vote and be voted for. Although, Section 14(3) of the be Constitution emphasizes on the need for there to be a spread in political offices to bring about an  included  government and avoid domination by one region of the country  . The absence of zoning in the Constitution does not in anyway invalidate or make zoning illegal as it is not prohibited by any written law. This has paved way for parties like the Peoples Democratic Party to enshrine the zoning formula in their Constitution. Article 7 of the PDP Constitution be stated thus“In pursuance of the principle of equity, Justice and fairness, the party shall adhere to the policy of rotation and zoning of party and public elective offices and it shall be enforced by appropriate executive committee at all levels”.   Similarly, the current governing party tend to bend to this, as bringing a candidate from the same geo-political region with the current President will be detrimental to them retaining power in 2023 election. 


THE ROLE OF ZONING IN 2023 ELECTION

Since the handing over of power to civilian rule in 1999, the presidency has gone to 3 geo-political zones in Nigeria leaving out 2 regions yet to taste power from the bowels of the  Presidency. In 1999 the presidency was zoned to the South West region of Nigeria  and it produced Olusegun Obasanjo as the President.In 2007 it was zoned to the Northwest producing Umaru Musa Yaradua as president, in the subsequent election it was zoned to the South South region who saw Goodluck Ebele Jonathan fit and proper to man the office. All these was done under the  Peoples Democratic Party. The current administration seized power in 2015 and Muhammadu Buhari emerged as the President; bringing it back to the Northwest again. The presidency might tilt to the three regions that has not had a share of the presidency. However, the role of some prominent stake holders and political juggernauts  like Bola Tinubu who have began a wide spread consultation for the 2023 election might interfere with the flow of the zoning formula.

Several agitations have arose from each region asking for the presidency to be zoned to their region. The Southern governor's forum has also made known to the public that the the Presidency should be giving to the South once more.The Northern governors vehemently opposes this  a meeting in Kaduna, on September 27, drawing strength from Section 131 of the Constitution which gives each and every qualified citizen a shot at the presidency. The Eastern part of the Country have also made declarations similar to the Southern governors stating reasons why the Presidency should be zoned to them.However,there is no legal authority to back these demands or any obligation on parties who are not preachers of zoning to produce a candidate that will fall in the ambit of these demands. One thing is definitely certain, the next president will not be from the same geo-political zone with the current president, for it would be seen as an attempt from one region to dominate the others.

It will be apropos and kosher that the two leading parties stick to the already existing zoning formula and give each region a chance to rule. Agitations seems  to be ever increasing as some regions feel left out in the administration of the Country. This can be reduced if  the zoning formula is used judiciously. If each region is given a chance to produce a leader from their region at a particular time, it will reduce agitations to a minimal level. Each and every region is very capable of producing a vibrant and visionary leader that will take Nigeria to a greater heights and the elevate her from the looming doom ahead. 



EBIMOBOWEI PETER



2 Comments

  1. Zoning roots out the original sense of oneness.
    Right now it's every leader for himself, "my people" not "our people"

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