Group Berates Atiku, Says Statement On Zoning Disappointing, Hypocritical

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Google image: Atiku

Miffed by its danger, the Southern and Middle Belt Alliance (SaMBA), has described the statement credited to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar that the Nigerian Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigerian constitution does not recognise the principle of zoning political offices as disappointing and hypocritical.

The former Vice President at a meeting with members of a group, ‘Let’s Fix Nigeria’ reportedly faulted the call for the Peoples Democratic Party to zone its presidential ticket to a particular region of the country.

SAMBA, in a statement, said that such a statement contradicts Atiku’s previous posture where he demanded equity, fairness, and justice in the country.

In a statement by the group signed by its Spokesman Prince Rwang Pam Jnr., the group recalled that the former Vice President was in the vanguard for zoning in 2011 when he wanted to wrestle power from former President Goodluck Jonathan.

SAMBA also stated that Atiku had in his campaign for zoning led Northern PDP leaders including Governors Tambuwal, Saraki, and Kwankwaso to stage a public walk out of the PDP National Convention in 2015 during a speech by Goodluck Jonathan when President Jonathan stated he will run for president.

“The same Alhaji Atiku had on December 15, 2010, warned the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not to jettison the already existing zoning of the PDP at the National Stakeholders Conference of the party in 2010 which had the present National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, in attendance.”

“Atiku also in an interview with Daily Trust on June 6, 2013, urged the PDP to return to the principle of zoning”.

“SaMBA, therefore, demand to know from Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, what exactly has changed between 2010 and 2013 and today that the former Vice President is fighting against zoning the Presidency in 2023.

The group further stated that while the word “zoning” may not be contained in the Nigerian Constitution, its spirit and the principle of Federal Character were provided in the constitution, so also are fairness, justice, and equity, clearly written in the 1999 Constitution.

“The issue of federal character is not limited to governance. It is for this reason that Section 223 (1) (b) of the Constitution says, “The constitution and rules of a political party shall ensure that the members of the executive committee or other governing body of the political party reflect the federal character of Nigeria while sub-section 2(b) says … The federal character is reflected only if the members belong to different states.

“Nigerians will recall that the same Atiku in pursuit of his campaign for zoning in 2015 led Northern PDP leaders including governors Tambuwal, Saraki, and Kwankwaso to stage a public walk out of the PDP National Convention while Jonathan was making his speech in which he indicated he would contest in the 2015 presidential election.

“Therefore, SaMBA demands that the former Vice-president desists from actions that give him the image of a desperate politician and expects the former Presidential candidate of PDP in the 2019 Elections to adorn the mantle of a statesman and queue behind people of good reason, fairness, and equity to return political power to the South in 2023”.

“We expect Atiku Abubakar to support one of his political associates from Southern Nigeria who have been with him for many years, especially the Southeast that massively supported him in 2019.”

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