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2023: Parties Must Commit To Fiscal Federalism NOT Zoning – Prof. Chris Mustapha Nwaokobia

Those seeking to narrow down the political space through zoning should forget it. There is no empirical proof that zoning or rotation of power advances unity and progress, none whatsoever. We are therefore tired of the self-serving demagoguery of political operators seeking the high office of President come 2023 by scheming the alienation of other aspirants through zoning.

The two leading Political Parties, the APC and the PDP must stop heating up the political space, and desist from fraudulently selling zoning as the way to justice, equity and fairness, indeed the only verifiable guarantees for national inclusion, equity, fairness and justice is true Fiscal Federalism, that way the component parts of the nation will have a true sense of belonging. Zoning as the way to justice is nothing but the perfidious gambit of power mongers and political operators.

If there is any sincere call for Zoning, that call should be the call for Gender Equity in Governance. A woman has never been the President of Nigeria, so why isn’t the elite calling for zoning of power to Women? Those calling for the zoning of the Presidency to one region or another come 2023 are only interested in a short cut to power, their interest is to narrow down the political space indiscriminate of the Constitutional provision that allows all eligible aspirants the right to pursue their legitimate ambition, and this subterfuge must stop.

Since 1999 no Youth or persons under 50years have been President of Nigeria, why isn’t the political elite calling for Power shift or zoning of power to the largest population demography in Nigeria, the Youths? Now is the time to strip naked the mendacious argument for zoning, we must shift the debate from the peripheral to the concrete, any Party that truly means well should forget the fallacious refrain called zoning and push for true Fiscal Federalism, that way our nation will have a true sense of inclusion and prosper.

Who says that zoning will quieten the discord that pummels our polity? Did the two major Political Parties in 1999 not field a Yoruba Candidate from the South West? Did Obasanjo’s 8years as President stop the agitation for Oodua Republic? Is the South West not asking for another shot at the Presidency in the name of zoning of power to the South come 2023? Who is deceiving who?

We must debunk the fallacy of the Ruling elite and tell them that not only is Zoning of the Presidency unconstitutional, it is self-serving, self-seeking and manifestly a perfidious ploy to grab power. We are therefore not buying the devious epistemology of the Zoning Committees of the APC and the PDP, not anymore.

The Clock says it is time for competency and capacity, the moment says it is Youth O’Clock and the time says that 2023 politics must be dominated by worthy and worthwhile debate other than those of region and religion. The debates must devolve on how this nation can reach great heights through Fiscal Federalism and discipline, and how our politics must be predominantly issues based not zoning.

I want to see a Woman or a Youth in the saddle. I want to see the most gender friendly political operator or office holder as President of Nigeria. I want to see competent young persons with capacity to govern emerge as Presidential candidates across the leading Political Parties, and I want to see one of them win the Presidency come 2023.

I want to see vibrant issues oriented debate, not one centred on whose turn or to what region power must devolve. I want to see a Pan Nigerian candidate. And I want to see a Pan Nigerian President come 2023, such is the only permissible minimum.

Nigeria is troubled on all sides by the failure of leadership, by the lack of competency and capacity in leadership, and by the absence of Justice, equity and fairness. The only credible panacea to the ills that trouble Nigeria, Gentlemen and women will undoubtedly be good governance centred on equity, fairness and justice, and not on the self-seeking sermonette called zoning.

May we thumb down the fallacy that takes the solution to our problem away from empirical issues to banal ethnic and regional epistemology. And may we challenge all political operators to a new Creed, indeed one that makes competency and capacity the linchpin in our journey to 2023. God Bless Nigeria.

Chris Mustapha Nwaokobia Jnr.
National Coordinator

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