2023 Presidency And Zoning

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The outcry against injustice and marginalisation dates back to when Nigeria began to fully practice the parliamentary system of government in the first republic after gaining independence from Britain.

During the Second Republic which operated a presidential system of government, the then  governor of Benue State, Aper Aku in a paper titled ‘Zoning, Rotation And Stability Of Nigeria’, at the Institute of Administration, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, on April 27, 1982 divided the country into six zones and suggested a single term of six years and rotational presidency.

Similarly, under General Ibrahim Babangida’s Third Republic, some political parties suggested the zoning of some key political offices but this was ignored by the regime. In 1995, Sani Abacha’s constituted constitutional conference recommended sharing of political power, redressing the marginalization of disadvantaged groups and redistribution of wealth. It provided for dividing the country into six geopolitical zones, rotation of certain political offices, provision of a new revenue sharing formula and the establishment of a Federal Character Commission.

In the Fourth republic, zoning of the office of president was based on one of the provisions for the attainment of Abacha’s 1995 constituted constitutional conference recommended proposals, that is, rotation of certain political offices.

The positions of president, vice president, Senate president, Speaker of House of Representatives in the same order were shared to four geopolitical zones while one out of the remaining two was to produce a deputy Senate president and national chairman of the ruling party and the other zone, deputy Speaker of House of Representatives and Secretary to Federal Government. This made the people of all the geopolitical zones to have a feeling of inclusiveness. However, the death of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on May 5, 2010 distorted the arrangement and from the reign of Goodluck Jonathan to Muhammadu Buhari, it is yet to be completely corrected.

It will be most ideal if these imbalances are addressed by the leadership that will take over from Muhammadu Buhari. Zoning of the presidency is an already concluded arrangement that ensures fairness and equity and should be maintained and included in the Nigerian constitution.

DAILY TRUST…

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