PDP Aspirants Never Respected Zoning — Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday hit back at pro-zoning aspirants of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and accused them of jettisoning zoning in the past by contesting against a southerner in the 2003 and 2007 president elections. “Next time you meet those arguing about zoning especially those other political aspirants, ask them why were they interested in contesting the presidency of this country in 2003, why were they interested in 2007, because if by practice PDP has a zoning arrangement that the president must come from the North for 8 years then in 2003, no Northern aspirant from the North would have developed interest but in 2003 these people talking about zoning created a lot of havoc in the party because they came out to contest.

“In 2007, we had about 28 candidates if it was purported to have been zoned to the North, then it wouldn’t have expected any southerner to contest but 16 southerners contested. So even in practice the section I decided to read from the 2001 PDP constitution to tell you that it is not a recent issue, so even the current constitution 2009 they themselves know what the facts are,” he said.

Jonathan stated this yesterday at the PDP National Secretariat in Abuja shortly after submitting his presidential nomination form.

Jonathan is the only Southerner contesting against four aspirants from the North. They include former military ruler Ibrahim Babangida, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former National Security Adviser Lt.-General Aliyu Gusau (rtd) and Kwara State Governor Bukola Saraki. The statement may be seen by observers as a response to his rivals’ stance on zoning which they argued should be retained in the North.

He argued that his contest doesn’t imply that the party has jettisoned the zoning arrangement and noted that zoning would be applied after the emergence of the President and the Vice President, so that the same section of the country that produces the President and the VP do not dominate other offices to the detriment of other regions.

“If you take the situation of 2007 elections for example when Yar’adua and myself emerged, then we met, Ali is here, the chairman of the party then, former President Obasanjo, the late President Yar’adua and myself, the secretary of the party Ojo Madueke, Anthony Anenih, we sat down and decided that once we have gotten a president from the North West and a Vice President from the South South, where do we place the party chairman then we decided it should go to the South East, Senate President to North Central and so we zoned all these. These are offices that PDP has reasonable control over. But before you zone them President and Vice President will first emerge.

“The concept of zoning is not limited to the presidency alone, the concept of rotation at the councillorship level, the party encourages us to shift the rotation from one community to the other, one compound to the other or one family to the other that makes up the ward. Even the local government chairman we encourage it moves from one ward to the other so that it will not be monopolized it goes on like that to the State House of Assembly, House of Representatives, the Senate and so on.

“For instance take the case of Kwara State, you will see that Saraki has served eight years is leaving because the Nigerian constitution guarantees him maximum of two tenures and of course in the papers the younger sister is contesting. If the party has zoned it, definitely somebody from that senatorial district cannot contest except the younger sister is from a different senatorial zone. So it tells you it is when the governor and deputy governor emerge that others are zoned,” Jonathan said.

Earlier, the PDP National chairman, Okwesilieze Nwodo, told the President that four aspirant have submitted their nomination forms and alerted him to be ready to face “stiff elections.”

“Mr. President I want you to know that you are up against stiff election because these are heavy weight aspirants of the party that is formidable, very large and Nigerians have already concluded that the next president of Nigeria will be produced by PDP,” he said.

Source: www.dailytrust.com


  1. It is not must that our president should emerged from the north.Anybody from anywhere in Nigeria can rule us,since all we needed is good,concerned,accountable and transparent leadership.I think Jornathan is just the man.