By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
The former military administrator of Akwa Ibom State, and National Chairman of Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, retd, has called for the promotion of zoning of the presidency.
Nkanga made the call in Uyo while reacting to the growing agitations in the country to zone the presidency to the Southeast as power shifts to Southern Nigeria in 2023.
He explained that since zoning the presidency is what gives Nigerians peace, it should be promoted, stressing that for equity and fairness, each of the six geo-political zones in the country should also be given the opportunity to occupy the position.
He noted that since power shifts to the South in 2023, the expectation is that the Southeast should be given the opportunity to vie for the position unless any zone says it does not want it.
His words, “At this point in time we (PANDEF) support a southern president, but when it comes to the South, the zones will now say where it should go. And if there is a North-South agreement on power shift, we should make sure that it goes to where it should go.
” I, personally believe that if we’ve agreed on zoning, it means it has given us some peace, and we should promote what gives us peace. And the minimum times we can zone the position is six, because, there are three geo-political zones in the north, and three in the South.
“You must ensure that every zone has the opportunity to hold the position unless they don’t want to. For instance, in the South, the South-West has held the position, the South-South has also held it.
“If the South now come out to say it has stopped zoning, it will deprive the Southeast the opportunity to also vying for the position”
Nkanga, who chided some Nigerian leaders kicking against zoning of the position of president, advised that they should have done that ahead of the election that brought President Muhammadu Buhari-led government into power.
He noted that when he was asked last week about the position of the forum regarding the alleged plot to return the presidency to the north, that he had replied that they completely disagree that power should remain in the north after president Buhari’s tenure.
“For those of them that are saying now that the position of the president should not be zoned, why did they not stop zoning before President Buhari came into power?.
“Why now that power should return to the South? My take is that they should allow power to return to the South in 2023 and after that, they can then stop the zoning” Nkanga asserted.