By Jimitota Onoyume, Warri
A prominent Itsekiri leader and Niger Delta activist, Sir Sunny Mene, has called on the All Progressives Congress, APC, to zone the presidential slot to the South in the spirit of federal character in the country’s constitution.
Mene, who spoke toVanguard, said it was unfortunate that the same persons who accused former President Goodluck Jonathan of not respecting zoning in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and dumped the party for the APC, were the ones now saying zoning was not necessary.
He charged the APC to promote the principles of equity, fairness and justice by zoning the party’s presidential ticket to the South.
He said: “We cannot have federal character in our constitution for the purpose of equity and we turn around to say zoning does not matter. It is irrational and doesn’t make sense. We practise federal character for the purposes of fairness, equity and justice.
“Those talking of competence now were the same persons who canvassed for zoning in 2015. Is it that competent persons can’t be found in the South if power is zoned to the area? Can you say in a region that has been in the forefront of educational advancement that you can’t find somebody that is competent?
“When you talk of competence, there are so many competent people in the South. All those aspiring are qualified to but based on the type of federalism we are running, we should respect federal character principle. It strengthens our unity.”
“Former President Jonathan lost the last election because certain governors in his party left the PDP for APC because they argued that Jonathan was not respecting the zoning arrangement.
“And the PDP lost. Is it now ironical that those same persons who accused Jonathan of not respecting the zoning arrangement and came over to the APC are the same persons now saying that zoning does not matter. They should know they are talking to Nigerians who are not stupid. If we must live as one in peace and harmony, let us respect one another. We are all equal stakeholders in this country. “