Obong Of Calabar Urges Electorate To Maintain Current Zoning Formula

 

The Obong of Calabar, His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V has appealed to the electorates in Cross River State to maintain the current zoning formula that has encouraged political stabilization and peace across it’s three senatorial districts.

This, according to the tradition ruler will allow the Northern Senatorial District to retain the governorship position for another four-year term in order to be at par with other Senatorial districts.

Speaking when he played host to the State governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, the Obong commended Ayade for his developmental strides and sort for his reelection.

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In the same vein, Professor Ben Ayoade’s support base received a boost with his endorsement by the leadership of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, and Labour Party, LP in the state.

The two parties said their adoption of the governor was predicated on his record in office in the last three and a half years.

The governor, accepting the adoptions thanked the leadership of the SDP and Labour Party, describing the action as a celebration of civilization and maintained that, upon the completion of his second term in office in 2023, power, in line with the rotational principle in the state, will shift to Cross River Southern Senatorial zone.

Is Zoning ‘Myopic’? Read What Osun Governorship Candidates Think

During the Osun Governorship Debate Organised by Channels Television on Sunday, zoning was one of the issues discussed with candidates from the West Senatorial District insisting it should be the turn of the zone to govern the state, and others disagreeing.

The debate featured the candidates of the of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Fatai Akinbade; Action Democratic Party (ADP), Moshood Adeoti; All Progressives Congress (APC), Gboyega Oyetola; and Social Democratic Party (SDP), Iyiola Omisore.

Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ademola Adeleke, was invited for the debate but he failed to show up.

Read the responses of the candidates when asked about zoning in the state.

ADC’s Akinbade

I think it all borders on equity. When this state was created, I think everybody was very hopeful that everything will be equitably distributed. But for the Central (Senatorial District) to have already spent 20 years and the East – already eight years is running out. Everybody believes that it should come to our Senatorial District (West). It is not that we do not have the materials; we have very qualified people and we believe we deserve to have a shot.

ADP’s Adeoti

It is an open secret that since 1999, when this republic came into being, West Senatorial District has been deprived of governing this state. In 1999, Chief Bisi Akande was there; he governed the state for four years. We in the Alliance for Democracy then had it in mind that Chief Akande to go for the second term but man proposes and God disposes. Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola won the election in 2003 and he was there for four years… We believe that after 11-and-a-half years for Central and eight years for the East Senatorial District, it is the turn – that is what people are clamouring for – of the West Senatorial District.

APC’s Oyetola

I usually don’t like to get into this controversy, to be honest with you. But if you look at the historical perspective of the state, there is no time zoning has ever been adopted. Even when the state was part of Oyo State, we had a situation where Chief Bola Ige was the governor, Chief (Sunday) Afolabi was the deputy and Chief Bisi Akande was the Secretary. Progressives usually go for the best anywhere it is found. In any case, it is important for all the zones to participate actively in the choice of who rules the state. If the best comes from West or East or Centre, so be it. If Nigerians could be mayors in advanced countries, let the brilliant people in the West (Senatorial District) come out.

PDP’s Omisore

Osun State came into being; the first governor of Osun State came from the West, second and third from the Central, fourth one from the East. That zoning formula has concluded. Whoever becomes governor now, starts the new zoning… I believe that zoning is only myopic, lazy and mediocritic.

2019: South-East PDP Leaders Endorse Zoning Of Presidency To North

Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party in the South East have said they fully support the decision to zone the party’s slot for the 2019 Presidential election to the North and reserve the spot for National Chairman to the South.

The Chairman of the party in the South East, Mr Austin Umahi, made this known after a closed-door meeting with other party leaders in the zone.

During the meeting, governors from the party, National Assembly members, and the chairman were mandated to liaise with other zones to reach an understanding in respect of the next national chairman of the party.

Other resolutions include support for party’s candidate for the Anambra State governorship election and the unity of the country.

The meeting was attended by former Vice President Alex Ekwueme, Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, former governor of Anambra State Peter Obi, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, members of the National Assembly, among others/

Adamawa: Ngilari Should Fight ‘Powers That Be’ – Okim

Sunny OkimPublic Affairs Analyst, Sunny Okim, has encouraged the Adamawa State governor, Bala Ngilari to fight against forces working against him and his authority to re-run for office, noting that it was his constitutional right to contest.

Speaking on the issue of zoning in Adamawa, Okim noted that Adamawa is “a really troubled state”, explaining that “between 2007 and now, they have sworn-in eight different governors at different times. It has never happened in any other place in this country.

Adamawa state can be divided into two major regions, Adamawa North, which is dominated by Christians, and Adamawa Central, dominated by Muslims.

According to the analyst, the power play between the two regions is stiff and the governor of the State, who hails from Adamawa North, was scared because the powers that be want to zone him out despite the fact that he became governor via a constitutional means.

Ngilari had been sworn into office following a court judgment which rendered his resignation as deputy governor null and void.

Okim noted that the Peoples Democratic Party had a policy of allowing first time governors run for a second term and asked “why, in this case, don’t they want him to go back”?

According to him, “a hand up there” was responsible for the troubles the governor was facing as outsiders were influencing politics in the state.

He further noted that these issues would hamper the new governor from performing his duties and work towards developing the state.

Commenting on the popularity of the governor and the people’s wish, Okim said “the people can only say this is who we want, if you pass through the primaries of the party. If the party does not want you to be there, my brother, you can’t be there
“They will only allow you to go, buy form,  appear during the screening and then say look, your zone cannot produce the governor.

Mr Okim encouraged the governor to pursue his constitutional right and contest for the office again.

School Admission: Don’t Sacrifice Merit For Zoning, Lawmaker Cautions Educatnion Ministry

The Deputy Chairman, Media and Publicity Committee, House of Representatives, Victor Ogene on Monday urged the Federal Government not to “sacrifice merit on a platter of zoning,” referring to the National Common Entrance cut off marks published by the Ministry of Education.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Ogene said that matter is of “urgent public importance” and during the 3rd session of the House of Representatives, a motion was passed to check the situation.

Mr Ogene, who spoke on behalf of Anambra state and the South East, expressed his objection to the fact that students from his state are required to score 139 marks on merit while “some others are made to score just 2 and 4 marks for the same examination”.

This, he said, runs contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian constitution in chapter 42(1) – “No Nigerian shall be discriminated against on the basis of community, ethnicity, religion, tribe, gender”.

“We should not sacrifice merit on a platter of zoning,” he said.

The House of Representatives has passed a motion mandating its committee on education to interface with the National Examinations Council and the Federal Ministry of Education”

The committee is expected to send its report on Tuesday, 2nd July.

Merit Quotient

Mr Ogene also said many members of the house would like to raise the merit quotient to ‘about 50 or 60percent”.

He attributed the issue to “failure of governance at different levels” and accused several governments of concentrating on building more schools instead of focusing on the quality of education.

ACN Slams PDP’s Finger-Pointing Over Yoruba Marginalisation

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said the PDP is exposing its own folly by blaming the glaring marginalisation of the Yoruba by the Jonathan Administration on the ACN, saying the PDP has nothing but total contempt for the Yoruba in particular and Nigerians in general.

Reacting to the allegation by Doyin Okupe that the ”Yoruba people in the ACN conspired against the Yoruba” to scuttle the election of a Yoruba as House Speaker, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, said in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday that ACN is not bound by the shifty and phoney zoning formula of the PDP.

”If the PDP had indeed wanted a Yoruba as Speaker, the party should either have won enough seats in the South-west or used its majority in the House to push through its anointed candidate. Failure to ensure the election of its candidate is a reflection of the insincerity of the PDP about the zoning of the post to Yoruba and the gross indiscipline in the party of tattered umbrella.

”In any case, the last option open to the PDP would have been to support any other Yoruba for the post across party lines. We the ACN have very capable members in the House to serve as Speaker. But the truth is that the ruling party wants a PDP member, not a Yoruba, for the post.

”Therefore we are not surprised that the PDP easily acquiesced to the defeat of its Yoruba candidate for the post of Speaker of the House. The PDP zoning formula is pivoted on convenience rather than principle, After all, the zoning was easily jettisoned to pave the way for Jonathan to contest as President,” it said.

The ACN said even if the PDP had not succeeded in giving the post of House Speaker to Yoruba in accordance with its so-called zoning formula, it could have rewarded them with known choice ministries or other top appointments, instead of totally relegating a whole people into irrelevance in its scheme of things.

The party slammed the PDP for playing the ethnic card, and rejected the cheeky and devilish move by the PDP to pigeon-hole the ACN into an ethnic cocoon.

”We are a national party and our spread attests to it. We have shown by supporting the election of Aminu Tambwal as Speaker of the House that our agenda is not sectional but national, and we have no apologies to offer for that

”Let the PDP continue to wallow in insufferable arrogance and disdain for the electorate, by sharing posts before elections are concluded. It is like sharing the parts of an animal that has yet to be killed. This is the stuff of which the PDP is made, and that is why it is crumbling now like a pack of cards,” it said.