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Politics of zoning, who does it benifit

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Political parties are critical in a liberal democracy because they promote the stability of the governing process.

In other words, political parties are essential components of democratic societies because they bring together people with similar ideologies under one umbrella.

In Nigeria, zoning is a practice in which political parties agree to divide their presidential and vice-presidential candidates among different geopolitical zones in order to ensure that no region of the country is permanently excluded from power.

The concept was introduced in the Second Republic, following the Biafran Civil War of 1967–1970. The need to reduce inter-ethnic tensions following the Civil War was the driving force behind zoning.

The National Party of Nigeria (NPN) launched a zoning system to select party officials.

As the country is counting down to the upcoming elections, it is clear that there are significant considerations being faced by the country’s main political parties, which are the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Although zoning is not explicitly stated in either the 1999 Constitution or the Electoral Act, it is one of the practical measures adopted by political parties since the return to democracy in 1999.

Despite the fact that the term “zoning” does not appear in the 1999 Constitution, it is consistent with the ideals of Federal Character and the establishment of a Federal Character Commission.

In a multi-plural, diverse country like Nigeria, with over 400 ethnic nationalities, it is critical to provide a sense of belonging and participation to all groups in order to promote national unity and loyalty.

This principle has been a source of tension and conflict among Nigeria’s various ethnic nationalities, regions, and zones since independence, with minority groups protesting their marginalisation by majorities.

As the 2023 general election approaches, zoning is once again a hotly debated issue.

The question that arises is why zone the country’s leadership to a specific region when any qualified Nigerian from any region is eligible to contest?

It is more important to discuss this now than ever before because the Nigerian polity has never been more divided, with several secessionist agitations, ungoverned spaces due to terrorism, and unprecedented economic hardship.

This is not unrelated to the fact that Nigerian politics has been played on the basis of ethnicity for many years, which has undoubtedly bred ethnic chauvinism in a country with a polyglot population.

Nigeria urgently requires peace and stability

Chief Obafemi Awolowo stated in his 1947 book ‘Path to Nigerian Freedom‘ that “Nigeria is not a nation, it is a mere geographical expression.”

Awolowo’s assertion is widely interpreted as a lack of unity, history, vision, and commonalities among Nigeria’s diverse ethnic groups.

In the same vein, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa stated at the Legislative Council in 1948 that “Nigerian unity is only a British intention for the country.”

Against this backdrop of pessimism, mistrust, and mutual suspicion, the issue of zoning in the country must be addressed head on, as equity policy will go a long way toward calming agitated nerves.

Nigeria desperately needs peace and stability, and only a long-term objective dialogue focused on national interests can bring it about.

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Adamawa State Government Explains Delay In Payment Of June 2022 Salary.

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The Adamawa State Governor Rtd. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has asked for Understanding from Citizens as Payment of June Salary is delayed.

This Was Contained in a Statement signed by Mr.  Humwashi Wonosikou Press Secretary to the Governor and Made available to Newsmen in Yola.

The Governor Said that in keeping with It’s tradition of salary payment on 23rd or 24th day of every month, Government will not renege but explains that because of the upcoming SALLAH Celebration expected on July 10th, Salary will be paid at the end of the Month just in time for Sallah. “This is to ensure the people Celebrate Conveniently as SALLAH is around the corner, He Therefore, assure all that salaries would be paid by the end of this Month.”

While appreciating Civil Servants for their patience and understanding, Governor Fintiri said the delay is to enable them Celebrate SALLAH without any challenges.

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Taraba: Aggrieved PDP guber Aspirant file Suit against a declared Candidate.

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The battle for the Governorship ticket of the Taraba State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not yet over.

One of the Governorship aspirant, Professor Jerome Nyame had file a suite at the Federal High Court sitting in Jalingo seeking for justice to be done.

He has insisted that the party’s candidate did not purchase expression of interest and nomination forms and not screened by the screening committee in Bauchi State.

The Aspirant, Jerome Nyame (PLAINTIFF) suite against, The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, People’s Democratic Party PDP, Col. Agbu Dantala Kefas (Rtd), Hon. Kabir Bappa Jauro and Barr. Jacob Otorkpa (DEFENDANTS), seeking for justice.

In his Write of summon, the aggrieved aspirant averred that the 3rd defendant (Kefas Agbu) is actually the PDP chairman, who is not actually qualified to participate at the primary election.

Jerome Nyame (Plaintiff) said that the People’s Democratic party, PDP (2nd Defendant) primary election was held on 25th May 2022 at Jolly Nyame Stadium where the results were purported declared as follows, Col. Agbu Dantala Kefas 443 votes, Chief Victor Bala Kona (stepped down), Professor Jerome Nyame 24 votes, Dr. Hilkiah Buba Mafindi 2 votes, Sen. Joel Ikenya 11 votes, Professor Joseph Albasu Kunini 31votes and Ayuba Kotolo 0 vote.

He insisted that the Taraba PDP candidate did not obtain expression of interest and nomination forms code PD003/G, (EOI)Code PD002/G, before the 14th April 2022 when same was closed.

“The Plaintiff avert that the 3rd Defendant was not nominated by at least 45 party members from at least two third of the Local Government Areas of Taraba State as required by the Constitution and Guidelines.

“The Plaintiff avert that the 3rd Defendant has always given assurance to other aspirants that as the chairman of PDP in the State, he will be fair to all and give a level playing ground to all Aspirants and that he will not take side.

He prayed the court to stop the candidate from parading himself as the party’s guber candidate.

He vowed to go extra legitimate miles to ensure that justice is done.

He sought “an order directing the first defendant (INEC) not to accept, recognize, or howsoever deal with the 3rd defendant (Kefas) as guber candidate of the party for the Taraba State governorship election slated for March 2023 or any other such rescheduled date.”

According to him, the PDP candidate (Kefas), presided over the party’s screening exercise as the party’s chairman before joining the list of aspirants at the eleventh hour, he beckoned at the court to direct INEC to recognize, accept and issue him (Nyame) all the benefits and entitlements as candidate of the second defendant (PDP) for Taraba State.

Recall that in April this year, the PDP chairman, when ask by Journalists on weather he has purchased intention and nomination forms to contest for the Governorship seat under the party.

“The 3rd Defendant (Agbu Dantala Kefas) spoke with Punch Newspaper, Taraba Truth and Facts among other media organizations that he did not obtain the PDP expression of interest and nomination forms before 14th April 2022.

“The 3rd Defendant (Agbu Dantala Kefas), did not participate at the Governorship screening on 26th April 2022 or any other date at all.

“No I have not purchased a form and have no intention of vying for the Governorship seat of the State.

The Plaintiff avert that the 3rd Defendant was the person that prepared the delegates list which the 2nd Defendant PDP which he later emerged as the winner thereby making the Primary election not free, fair and undemocratic as he earlier promised.

According to him, Part II, paragraph 4(I), page 8 of the PDP Electoral Guidelines for the Party primary election 2022, the 3rd Defendant Agbu Dantala Kefas is the Chairman of the Special State Congress which make him a judge in his own case.

“The Defendant by his position as the State Chairman, he is responsible for compiling the list of all Ad-hoc delegates and statutory delegates for the primary election which gave him undue advantage over all other delegates.

“On the 18th May 2022, the 3rd Defendant as State PDP Chairman, held an interactive session with all aspirants under the platform of the party, assured them that he will provide a level playing ground to all aspirants and that he will not be a contestant or Aspirant for any elective office.

According to him, there was no announcement of total of accredited delegates before voting commence, no record of same was given to our client or his agent before the commencement of the poll despite protest from agents and even 1st Defendant”s official who monitored the exercise.

“The 3rd Defendant kept all delegates at various hotels away from the venue of the primary election including Pastoral Center, mile six and no single delegate was duly accredited by 12 noon of 25th May 2022 as required by law.

According to him, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Defendants brought in delegates to start voting without accreditation late around 3:45 pm which lead the election into night time and became difficult to ascertain who is who.

The Plaintiff said that 11 votes are unaccounted in that the total votes purportedly scored by all the aspirants is 511 which is more than the purported total number of delegates that purportedly voted at the election being 522 votes.

He pointed out that even after the purported election and declaration of result, copies of the result are yet to be given to him, his agent or any of the other aspirants as mandatory required by PDP Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections 2022 all in bid to conceal or hide the irregularities and rigged the election.

He urged the 1st Defendant (INEC) to recognize and accept and issue him all the benefits and entitlements as candidate of the Party for the Governorship election schedule for March 2023 or any reschedule date.

Copy of the summons made available to our Correspondent, also gathered that more aspirants have also concluded plans to approach the court seeking for justice on the matter.

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PVC: Gov. Matawalle declares one-week public holiday

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The Governor of Zamfara State, Hon. Bello Mohammed Matawalle has declared next week Monday to Friday, (June 20th to 24th, 2022) as work free week to enable the State’s public and civil servants to go to their respective localities and obtain their Permanent Voter Cards, (PVC).
The Governor directed all the commissioners, Special Advisers, Permanent Secretaries, other public office holders, party officials and traditional rulers to monitor and supervise the ongoing Voter Registration exercise.

This was contained in a press statement signed and issued to newsmen in Gusau, the State capital by the State’s commissioner for information, Hon. Ibrahim Magaji Dosara.
According to the statement, every person above the age of 18 is expected to be part of the exercise, saying that it was their constitutional right to elect their leaders.

Governor Matawalle appealed to the general public to participate in the exercise so that they would not complain later.

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