By Â BenÂ AgandeÂ
A prominent member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party from Plateau state, Ambassador Yahaya Kwande has said that it would be â€˜very unfair to the northâ€™Â for the party to jettison the zoning formula it adopted in 1999, saying that that would be unacceptable to the north.
In an interview with Vanguard in Abuja, Ambassador Kwande who is a member of the Partyâ€™s Board of Trustees said the party should follow through on its agreement on zoning that would see the north producing the presidential candidate in 2011 after which the South East would produce the president of the country in 2015.
He told Vanguard that â€˜it will not be fair for the party to abandon an agreement half way. The south west has ruled for eight years. The north has done half of its term and still has another half of four years after which the south east would produce the presidential candidate in 2015 for another eight years. If you want to be fair, the north should be allowed to complete its term of four yearsâ€™ he said.
According to Dr Kwande, the decisions taken by the party especially on the zoning arrangements were done at the convention of the party and leaders of the party should emerge at the convention not through any other means.
Asked to comment on the speculations that president Goodluck Jonathan may contest the 2011 presidency, Alhaji Yahaya Kwande said that would not be fair on his part.
â€œTo my mind, it would not be fair for him to contest in 2011. Good as he is, calm as he is, he looks a very good man. But it is not about anÂ individual. It was a collective decision taken by the party.
The circumstance that made him president was an unfortunate one and his emergence has been accepted without question. But there is no point for him to break an existing arrangement by contesting in 2011. That would not be fairâ€ he said.
Since the death of President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua, there have been divergent views on the propriety or otherwise of retaining the zoning formula of the Peoples Democratic Party which has seen power rotating between the north and south of the country, with some people, mostly from the south calling for its abolition while others, mostly from the north have insisted that it should be retained.
But the national Auditor of the PDP, Samuel Ortom joined the fray at the weekend with a call for the abolition of the zoning formula to allow for every qualified Nigeria to contest the 2011 presidential elections.