…As Ohuabunwa backs North on zoning
. Warns Nigeria may implode without restructuring
By Steve Oko
As reactions still trail the position of a coalition of Northern groups including Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF; and the Northern Elders Forum, which accepted the clamour for restructuring Nigeria but rejected zoning of the Presidency, a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress in Abia State, Prince Benjamin Apugo, has insisted that an additional state must first be created for the South East zone “before talking of restructuring.”
This according to the APC’s Board of Trustees, BoT, member is to bring the zone at par with other zones with six states except North West that has seven states.
Apugo who spoke with VANGUARD in Abia, argued that without equity and justice, no meaningful restructuring could take place in Nigeria.
He regretted that South East had lost so much for having the least number of states, and urged the federal government to quickly address the imbalance as part of the restructuring process.
Apugo, however, blamed South East political class who failed to take advantage of their privileged positions while in power to advance the cause of the zone.
On zoning of the Presidency, Apugo said he did not believe in zoning as it could give room for mediocrity.
He said that emphasis should rather be on competence and integrity of aspirants.
Reacting also, former Speaker, ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, supported the position of the North that what the country needed now was restructuring and not zoning of Presidency.
Senator Ohuabunwa said “restructuring or devolution of power has become a must if Nigeria should continue as a united entity.”
He said that the configuration of the country could no longer be sustained, hence the urgent need to restructure to avoid forceful implosion.
According to the former Leader of House of Representatives “Nigeria might not survive for too long if we fail to restructure now.”
He said that the restructuring could begin with power devolution so that states and regions could have more powers instead of the centre wielding too much power.
“I’m happy that the North is now also talking of restructuring which we have been shouting all along. The ruling APC should be sincere with it if they want to be remembered on the positive side of history”.
On zoning, Ohuabunwa said “it is political parties and not regional or ethnic groups that decide on zoning”.
He said political parties should be allowed to zone various political offices including the Presidency based on their party manifesto.