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PDP Declaring Presidential Ticket Open & The Reasons It Will Favor The North Against The South

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On Thursday, at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), they declared open the contest for the ticket of Presidential post in the party. This was confirmed to the journalists by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan after the meeting. The party is saying both the North and the South can contest for the post that has been a heated debate between the South and the North.

However, in a country that is so diverse in culture, language, religion, ethnicity, region, etc., zoning should have been in our constitution to maintain and ensure unity in diversity. You can't expect one region to be ruling over others and expect no agitations, hate, and distrust. In advanced democracies or a monolithic country India or Pakistan, where over 99% of the people speak the same language and practice the same religion is not a problem.

But in a developing democracy like ours with people from diverse backgrounds ranging from language, religion, region, culture, food, and dress, zoning is the answer. The PDP is wrong on this particular matter and where the president comes from matters to Nigerians now more than ever. Anything done to foster unity and a sense of belonging cannot be wrong. We are a diverse community of people with each state capable of producing a competent president for the country.

To avoid the feeling of seclusion, the political parties had an unwritten agreement about the zoning of political offices to carry everyone along. If PDP keeps the presidential ticket open, it would not favor the South because of several reasons.

1. The North has the largest representation in the party.

During the primary elections of all political parties, members are expected to choose a credible candidate that will be the flagbearer of the party. Since the North has the largest number of States in Nigeria, it means they have the highest number of delegates that will represent the interest of a Northern candidate.

2. Due to population, not zoning the post will always favour the North.

It is not true that zoning will negate competence in any way. To say that is to insinuate that a particular section is incapable of producing a favorite president for the country 61 years post-independence. Nothing can be farther from the truth. We cannot say federal character is constitutional and okay, and in the same breath claim that zoning is unconstitutional. If there is no zoning in Nigeria, due to population the North might continue to produce Nigeria's President.

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