Former Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Adamu who is currently the senator representing Nasarawa West senatorial district on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has said the idea of zoning political offices is not democratic and not a part of the Nigerian constitution.
Adamu who made the comment during a press briefing with journalists at the National Assembly on Monday said instead of demanding that positions be rotated among zones, political parties should be allowed to produce candidates of their choice and campaign based on merit.
His comment comes amidst clamour for power shift from the North to the South and a week after former Governor of Borno, Ali Modu Sheriff, said Nigeria’s next president can come from any part of the country.
“Nowhere in the Nigerian constitution that says we should zone any public office. There is federal character. But not that parties must zone positions for presidency during election.
“The constitution is being reviewed. If you want a specific provision that presidential positions be zoned, you say it – and tell us how you want it to be zoned. You can’t just wish away, a situation that is fundamental to a country. You can’t talk of merit and talk of zoning. You can’t.
“The issue of rotation is… Let’s just go by merit. Let every party find a way of selling itself in a manner that will garner the kind of votes that will win the election. It’s as simple as that,” he said.
While sympathizing with political players in the South-East who are asking that the presidential position be zoned to the region come 2023, Adamu said such practice is not in the American constitution “which Nigeria tries to emulate.”
“It is democracy. Why do you want to change it? Wishful thinking only. How do you zone it?
“Yes, somebody is saying the East has not had a president. I agree. And I sympathize. But the constitution says you can only become president through the ballot box. And we have been saying it during elections that every vote must count. So, why do you want to zone?
“Zone your mind if you want to zone,” he added.