By Chuks Osuji
It is very very unfortunate that many Nigerian politicians and members of the public do not have historical reflection. Otherwise, why would PDP and its leadership continue to oscillate between in favour of zoning the presidency to the south instead of leaving the ticket open for the “highest bidder”.
Honestly, since PDP zoning committee told the world that it has recommended to throw the ticket of the presidency open for every aspirant irrespective of zoning, indeed, a barrage of criticism has greeted that blunder even at that, there were people who saw the recommendation as free and fair to all. In this article, it is important to draw the attention of PDP leaders and followers alike that the written constitution of PDP upholds the principle of zoning between the North and South. This agreement has been respected by political parties in Nigeria since 1999. If we may recall that Olusegun Obasanjo, a Yoruba was given a free ticket by PDP in 1999 just to assuaged the frustration and anger of the Yoruba people over the annulment of the election of 1993 .
During the struggle and negotiation for that year’s election, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu of another Political party surrendered his party ticket in an obedience to Yoruba to allow to become the president. After Obasanjo’s eight years, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua won a landslide election to replace Obasanjo. Unfortunately, his early demise altered the political equation. Consequently, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GEJ who was the Vice President became the President and another Northerner was picked to become the Vice President.
Since then, there has been a political smooth sail in the country. The effect is that , it has been a president from the South and Vice President from the North or a president from the North and the Vice President from the South.
Obviously, the principle of balancing the equation of rotation has been in existence until now. Now, after the presidency of Muhammadu Buhari from the North , it is obvious that power must rotate to the south. To the greatest chagrin of many Nigerians, some Northern hawks who frustrated Jonathan out of the presidency through Northern cuspiracy has now begun again. They were surprised when APC zone the presidency to the south to maintain the statues qua of rotational principle . Now, these Northern hawks in PDP have begun a process of frustrating the South from zoning the presidency to the south. Instead of zoning the presidency to the south, particularly to the south East , they were blindfolded due to desire to continue to dominate the political space in Nigeria.
Therefore, these PDP Northern hawks must be reminded that Alex Ekwueme was the principle founder of PDP . He would have solely appropriated the PDP to his favour. But no , he did not do so because of National unity . thus, these hawks in PDP must be reminded that if nothing else, they must respect the memory of Ekwueme by zoning this presidential ticket to the South East. Once this is done, a political tranquility will befall the political space in the country. Can they try this?