By ANAYO OKOLI, Umuahia
LABOUR and Productivity Minister, Chief Chukwuemeka Wogu, says Nigerians should not lose sleep over the issue of zoning the presidency, and declared that it would not in any way affect national unity after the polls as speculated in some quarters.
Wogu, who spoke on Friday, in Umuahia in a lecture he delivered as part of the activities marking the 2010 Press Week of Abia State NUJ, entitled, “2011 Elections and Nigeria’s Unity”, noted that the heat generated by zoning “is undoubtedly borne out of the deliberately fanned tension located among a few
According to him, “It is highly regrettable that after 50 years of independence a sitting president that is just over 50 years of age could be the target of a self-serving interests masked by zoning of political office”.
The minister said it was the same selfish politicians who have lost bearing with current global political trends that are fanning the embers of disunity using the issue of zoning.
“It is indeed remarkable to note that a sizeable proportion of those who have stoked the embers of disunity on the issue of zoning cannot show proof that their own geopolitical zones fared better in terms of overall development at the time they were at the helm of political affairs”, he stated.
“To drum it into the ears of all Nigerians, the idea expressly being canvassed by well meaning Nigerians is that national interest would be served better by institutionalizing a detribalized multi-ethnic and credible political process”.
In his speech at the occasion, the deputy governor of Abia State, Chief Acho Nwakanma, noted that Nigeria has been passing through trying times over the issue of zoning even “to the point of mediocrity where some people have failed to see that we currently have in the person of President Goodluck Jonathan is what is best for us”.
Nwakanma said the actions of journalists both individually and collectively before and after the 2011 elections would critically affect the nation’s unity hence because “as opinion moulders your reportage and interpretation of events must be done with the greatest sense of patriotism”.