To ensure equity and fair play in the polity, delegates to the on-going National Conference holding in Abuja have agreed to rotate the nations’ presidency among the six geo-political zones of the country on a South and North basis.
They also agreed that principle zoning should be reciprocated in the states and local governments.
The recommendation which was made by the committee on Political Restructuring and Forms of Government read thus, “There should be principle of zoning and rotation of elective officers at the federal and state levels on the basis of equity justice and fairness. The office of the president shall rotate among the six geo-political zones on the north and south bases”.
“The office of the governor shall rotate among the three senatorial district in that state. The office of chairman of a local government council shall rotate within the local government area. The national independent electoral commission INEC shall divide the local government into two or three equal parts as the case may be for the purpose of the rotation of chairman.”
While speaking on the recommendation, Chief Goddy Uwazurike, said that rotation will give every section of the country sense of belonging, adding that no region is greater than the other.
“The principle of power rotation should be observed. The presidency should rotate among the zones, because no region is greater than the other. This country belongs to all of us”.
Chief Silas Enayo representing the South South geo-political zone, who favoured rotational principle at all levels, said that it must be done to forestall any problem that will arise in the polity.
In supporting his postulation, Enayo quoted St Aquinas who says, “Truth and justice pressed to the ground must rise”.
He added that although he may not know how it will rise, but it will certainly rise one day, no matter how long it will take.
Opposing rotational principle, a Yobe State delegate and former
Secretary of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) Engr.Abubakar Buba Galadima said that rotation does not always bring the best.
“Rotation does not always bring out the best in the system, when it sweets some of them they talk about true federalism or best practice.I am yet to be educated on this subject matters. Nigerians will want to give with one hand and take with another. I support the creation of state. I will not discriminate by dashing state to a region. If we talk of equity let’s talk of standard” he said.
Rotational principle at all level of government was however adopted by delegates during the voting.
The delegates also unanimously agreed to have one additional state created for South East zone for parity sake,
This was approved by the conference at the plenary during the debate on the report of the Committee on Political Restructuring and Forms of Government which had in its report on the creation of a state for the South East to be at par with other zones that have six.
The recommendation of the committee which was amended by concerned delegates read, “In the spirit of reconciliation equity and Justice there shall be created an additional state for the South East Geo-Political zone”.
Speaking on the debate, a delegate representing Federal Legislatures’ Forum and former Speaker House of Representatives, Hon. Ghali Umar Na’Abbah,who supported the proposal commended the committee for recommending additional state for South East zone ,saying that it will address the imbalances in the zones.
The Kano State born politician requested that the National Assembly should expedite action towards its creation to enhance the much needed reconciliation.
Also speaking on the additional State for the South East zone,
delegate representing South East Zone and the Leader of Aka Ikenga,Chief Goddy Uwazurike,said that it will be in the interest of unity and national reconciliation for one state to be given to the zone.
The Ohanaeze Chieftain further stressed the need to create more states for each zone to bring the total number of state for each geo-political to nine making the country a federation of 54 states.
The Former Secretary of the Government of the Federation and an Afenifere Chieftain, Chief Olu Falaye while supporting the proposal informed delegates that those who have the view that South East was dashed a state should have a rethink, saying that all the states in Nigeria were dashed by the military. But maintained that it was unfortunate that South East was not dashed the same way others got.
He urged the delegates to always be their brother’s keepers.
His words, “we should be our brother’s keeper, you and i know that the military dashed states to all of us and forgot to dash south east. So, what is wrong in the conference dashing one to south east” the Ondo State born politician said.
However, the recommendation was put to vote by the Vice-Chairman of the conference, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi with a resounding yes voice approving the additional state.