John Adams, Minna
The former Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism and a chieftain of All Progressive Congress (APC) in Niger State, Mr Jonathan Vatsa has described a recent statement credited to Mamman Daura on the need to abolish zoning in the country as ‘capable of causing anarchy’.
‘Zoning is sacrosanct, he said. ‘You don’t shift a goal post when a goal is about to be scored. That alone is a grievous offence in the game of football, and the game of politics is no different.’
Vatsa, reacting to Daura’s comment last week that Nigerians should forget about zoning in the 2023 presidential season and go for competence in electing the next President, said such a statement from an elder statesman is highly regrettable, considering that Daura’s nephew and current President Muhammadu Buhari is himself a product of the zoning arrangement.
The former spokesman of the APC in Niger State wondered why all of a sudden those clamouring for the abolition of zoning in 2023 now realized that the system has not produced the best or achieved the desired result for the country.
‘If they want us to forget about zoning in 2023 because it has not produced the best, is it now that the north has benefited from the zoning that you want it abolished,’ Vatsa queried.
He argued that ‘if they want us to abolish zoning which we believed is for equity, justice and FairPlay, then we should be courageous enough to equally consider abolishing the federal character principles in all our national lives.
‘Quota system should not have a place in our employment, admission into schools, recruitment into Army, Police, Custom, Immigration and the rest. Let the best and the most competent be selected across the country.’
He reminded those promoting politics of deceit, religion and ethnicity that the country does not belong to a particular section or tribes, adding: ‘Let our elders not continue to utter words that are capable of causing anarchy in this fragile country of today.
‘They said words of our elders are words of wisdom, but honestly, I did not see any wisdom in what Mamman Daura has said. It is an indictment on his nephew too because if he is saying that zoning has not produced the best, then Buhari’s falls in that category.’
Vatsa restated his support for an Igbo President come 2023, saying that ‘if not for anything but for equity, justice and fair play.’
He warned that ‘anything short of that may spell doom for the country. It is their time and let them have it.’
According to him, ‘if we think that the Igbo man is not good enough or capable of ruling this country, then we should allow them to go their way. They are Nigerians and should be treated like one.’