By Williams Anuku Abuja
Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has criticized Mallam Mamman Daura, over his recent comments on zoning system.
Daura, a close relative of President Muhammadu Buhari had advocated that zoning the presidency to any part of the country was unnecessary.
But PANDEF said such statement was not only insensitive but most unfortunate.
It posited that unarguably, it was capable of creating unnecessary tension in the country. The regional organization pointed out that Nigeria was currently confronted with grave challenges of insecurity, with attendant threats to the socio-economic fabrics of the country; lives and property of innocent citizens, being devastated daily.
The Niger Delta regional body made its observation in a statement made available to reporters in Abuja, through Ken Robinson, its National Publicity Secretary.
The statement reads in part, “We expect people like Mamman Daura to speak, in ways and manner, that would promote national unity and cohesion, and not to make statements that would heat up the nation’s political space. Unfortunately, it appears he is more interested in who would take over from President Buhari in 2023.
“Perhaps, he needs to be told that the concept of zoning and rotation of political offices is correlated to the principle of federal character, provided by the Constitution, to promote political balance, and to address the problems of exclusion, marginalization, under representation across the political zones, and power domination by any section of the country. No wonder the federal character provision of the nation’s Constitution is being grossly abused by the Buhari administration.
“Nigeria is not a Banana Republic, neither a jungle state, where only the strongest rule. We are in a constitutional democracy, and as such provisions of the Constitutional should be sacrosanct. The calls for jettisoning of zoning are unnecessary, and obviously self serving. It is part of the perfidious machinations towards 2023. Recall that he is not the first to make such proposition from that part of the country.
“It is funny that when it suits their political interests, they support zoning, at other times, they talk of competence, and all that. No region has the monopoly of competent people. But come to think of it, If anyone should talk of competence, at this time, should it be coming from them? PANDEF, as a regional body, would at the appropriate time, after due consultation with other patriotic groups in the country, make our position known, and accordingly, advice our people”.