By Taye Obateru
Jos â€” Elder statesman, Chief Solomon Lar, has said the issue of whether the zoning arrangement adopted by the PDP in 1999 would continue was for the party to decide in line with current realities, saying it was not a permanent arrangement.
Speaking with journalists yesterday in the Plateau State capital, he said the zoning arrangement was made when he was national chairman of the PDP to satisfy the expediency of the moment, which was to pacify the South-West which felt hurt by the annulment of the 1993 election believed to have been won by the late Moshood Abiola.
He said it was in the same spirit of giving every part of the country a sense of belonging that made the party return the presidency to the NorthÂ in 2007, adding that the party could again examine current realities to determine if the arrangement would continue or not.
â€œThe zoning at that time was to help stabilise the country; it was not a permanent issue. We did it to stabilise the situation but it is up to the PDP to determine whether to continue with it or not. The party should sit and consider if it is still relevant. We would sit down and come up with what would solve the problem,â€ he said.
Lar urged those debating whether or not President Goodluck Jonathan should contest in 2011 to allow him concentrate on the crucial national assignment at hand instead of distracting him.
He said what was needed was for Nigerians to pray that God gives him the wisdom to make the best of the task ahead.
On calls for 2-party structure
He disagreed with calls for a return to the two-party structure in the country, arguing that the multi-party system prescribed by the constitution should remain but government should stop funding political parties.Â
According to Lar, â€œpolitical parties in Nigeria must not be reduced to two. The constitution of the country allows multi-party system. The only thing is that government should stop financing political parties; they should be self sustaining.â€