A former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka has cautioned Northern politicians not to ruin the arrangement of zoning which has benefited them, just because of their selfish reasons.
Speaking on a Channels Television’s programme on Sunday, the former minister maintained that the North should comply with the zoning arrangement by handing over power to the Southern region.
Chidoka spoke about the controversy being generated ahead of the 2023 presidential election on whether the zoning agreement should continue or if political parties should throw their tickets open.
The former minister noted that it won’t be right for the North to back out of the arrangement just because it wants to continue clinging to power, and particularly since it has also benefitted from the arrangement.
Chidoka recalled that the zoning arrangement in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ensured that past Nigerian leaders like Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Alh. Umar Musa Yar’Adua and Dr Goodluck Jonathan had their turns at the presidency.
“In 2019, because the PDP agreed that it was the north’s turn to do eight years, we all zoned the presidency to the north,” he stated.
“If you notice at Port Harcourt, all the 12 contestants for PDP ticket were northern and vice-president Atiku emerged as the candidate because there was an understanding that this is time for the north.”
He maintained that the northern elites should not scuttle the zoning arrangement for selfish reasons so as not to create ‘an odd situation’ just because they want to cling to power.
“In 2023, the country is now again to be confronted. Will northerners, after having benefitted and agreed to this zoning structure, now turn back to say zoning is undemocratic, zoning is not to be accepted in Nigeria, people should canvass to win an election?
“Beautiful argument on the surface of it, but it appears to me to be some form of sophistry because the country has developed a consensus that is working.
“I do not see any reason why we should dismantle that consensus that power goes north and goes south.
“It will be such an odd situation if the rest of the country does not find an Igbo man who is in sync with the Nigeria ideal and can be trusted to keep Nigeria going forward together,” he added.