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Presidency Zoning: Why Northern govs delay decision

President Goodluck Jonathan

* Fear of  “official”  harassment
* Majority favour rotation

Northern governors’ decision to delay the announcement of their position on the issue of zoning the presidency for next year’s election is more of a strategic move for their own political survival than any other thing, Sunday Vanguard has been told.

The governors, arising from a meeting in Kaduna on Thursday, said after listening to various views on the issue they had resolved to return to their states with a view to consulting with the people and then meet again on July 22, to take a final decision.

However, a source close to the last meeting said the majority of the governors are in favour of the rotation of zoning but are reluctant, for now, to come out and say so openly for fear of “official” harassment.

The source recalled the last dispensation when the EFCC was unleashed on “enemies” of the power that be at the time.
The source said:

“The governors have decided on what to do.

“The reason why they did not come out with their decision on Thursday is because in Nigeria, the use to which power is put is very dirty.

“The governors were prevailed upon not to make their decision public yet.

“Except the guidelines for the presidential primary are released, it would be difficult for the northern governors to make their decision known.

“They also know that there would be one or two in their midst who are unpopular in their home states who would break away.  There is certainty that some state governors from the south would also stick to zoning”

Sunday Vanguard was also informed that the angst of most of the northern governors is targeted at what one of them revealed as “the unnecessary desperation in the push to dump zoning; the same zoning that both Obasanjo and President Jonathan benefitted from”.

In a statement at the end of their last meeting in Kaduna, the governors said:

“We note that this issue has been generating a lot of problems and many people have been discussing it.  We encourage this discussion to continue so that an amicable solution can be arrived at.  However, beyond zoning, we know the importance of producing competent and performing leadership for the country.

“We also appreciate a democratic balance, the need for discussion and dialogue on all matters concerning the unity and progress of northern states within the context of a united Nigeria. As a result, we resolved to provide leadership on these matters and all matters concerning the unity and progress of our states.

“The forum had the opportunity to listen to various groups of elders and we looked at all their concerns and these are the issues that have been bothering us and we advised them to dialogue among themselves so that we can get a consensus as to the actual position on the matter.

“We also said that we will go back to our various states and meet with stakeholders so that we resolve this matter once and for all. We have given ourselves a deadline but that is not for public consumption at the moment.”

The meeting was attended by prominent former chairmen of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Solomon Lar and Barnabas  Gemade, who came to canvass the position of the region on the forthcoming presidential election.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.