Osita Chidoka, former minister of aviation, says the northern part of the country has benefitted from power rotation, and as such, the arrangement should be maintained.
Over the past few weeks, the debate on zoning the 2023 presidency has heightened, especially between the two major political parties — the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Speaking in an interview with Channels Television on Sunday, Chidoka said Nigeria is faced with the question of whether to honour the presidency zoning arrangement between the north and the south.
The former aviation minister chronicled how the PDP agreed on zoning arrangements between the north and the south, which he said led to the emergence of former presidents like Olusegun Obasanjo, Umar Musa Yar’Adua, and Goodluck Jonathan.
“In 2019, because the PDP agreed that it was the north’s turn to do eight years, we all zoned the presidency to the north,” he added.
“If you notice at Port Harcourt, all the 12 contestants for PDP ticket were northern and vice-president Atiku emerged as the candidate because there was an understanding that this is time for the north.”
Chidoka said the northern elites’ argument that zoning is undemocratic is not tenable, seeing as they have benefited from zoning.
He said there is no reason why zoning arrangements between the north and the south should be dismantled.
The former minister added that it would be an “odd situation” if the country cannot find an Igbo person who is worthy to become president in 2023.
“In 2023, the country is now again to be confronted. Will northerners, after having benefitted and agreed to this zoning structure, now turn back to say zoning is undemocratic, zoning is not to be accepted in Nigeria, people should canvass to win an election?
“Beautiful argument on the surface of it, but it appears to me to be some form of sophistry because the country has developed a consensus that is working.
“I do not see any reason why we should dismantle that consensus that power goes north and goes south.
“It will be such an odd situation if the rest of the country does not find an Igbo man who is in sync with the Nigeria ideal and can be trusted to keep Nigeria going forward together.”
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