The former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has come under fire for faulting the call on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to zone its presidential ticket to a particular region of the country, insisting that the Nigerian constitution does not recognise zoning.
According to a statement by its spokesman, Ken Robinson, PANDEF said it is rather unfortunate that the former vice president drew such a conclusion.
PANDEF said that zoning and rotation of key political positions in the polity cannot be discarded in a diverse and complex society like Nigeria, particularly, under the prevailing circumstances. PANDEF, accordingly, further called on all political parties to zone their presidential ticket to the South; any political party that does otherwise shall not have our support in 2023.
“He knows his statement is inconsistent with established and justifiable protocols and conventions, which have helped to sustain considerable understanding, peace, and stability in the polity.
“Truth is, the narrative that there is no zoning in the nation’s Constitution is a conscienceless mockery of our democratic evolution, and indeed, the country’s constitution.
“It bears underscoring that Nigeria’s Constitution, though flawed, has ample provisions that emphasize inclusiveness, fairness, and equity,” the statement partly read.
The spokesman stressed that Section 14(3) of the Constitution (as amended) provides that the composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few States or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or any of its agencies. It added that the intent and purpose of this section are precise and explicit.
“Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and other northerners expressing interest to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 ought to understand that their desire flies in the face of natural justice,” PANDEF declared.
The group added that it would be sufficient to implore Atiku and the other northerners to shelve their ambitions now and support the emergence of credible individuals from the south as presidential candidates of their various political parties.