THE CONCEPT OF ZONING IS A BYE PRODUCT OF ONYE GBURU ACHARA ONYE GBURU
The best news to come out of APC is this news “APC Cancels Zoning, Bisi Akande Says Senate President, House Speaker Positions, Others Open” ( http://thewillnigeria.com/news/apc-cancels-zoning-bisi-akande-says-senate-president-house-speaker-positions-others-open/ )
It is good music to my ears and to the ears of all those who have opposed zoning from Adam. The zoning concept is based on an Igbo expression of “Onye gburu achara onye gburu ma onye akpona ibe a onye ukori” Loosely translated it means you cut your own bamboo (from a common bamboo plantation) and let others do so. Let nobody consider others fools. Translated into PDP language and constitution it means “you loot and let me loot also.” Hence one gets the “Yoruba loot more” to which the Yoruba say “NO” it is the Hausa/Fulani” to which the Hausa/Fulani say “NO” “did you forget the Igbo” and from there we move to Ijaw, Edo, Kanuri, etc. exchanges. And the competition to match the Yoruba/Hausa/Fulani/Igbo etc. looting goes on unabated at an increasing rate.
I welcome this change in direction. It not only makes sense as the zoning concept is not part of Nigerian constitution but has almost been promoted as a requirement of the constitution. If a zone, a tribe, a family, a religious organization can produce all the officers in all segments of our governing structure let it be so. So long as the selection/election is done on merit. Zoning produced some of the terrible office holders in the nation when zone replaced ability.
There is possibly only one time “zoning” could be useful and that is when it is used as a tie-breaker. If two equally qualified candidates make the final pair and there is no other way to choose, then reference could be made to zoning.
As I have stated more than once before, distribution of talent does not follow any know pattern. If it is the turn of Igbo to produce the president, there may not be a talented Igbo at the required time. But if the talent hunt is based on merits then when an Igbo is available such a gifted Igbo would be president. And if another Igbo talent is immediately available after the first, then let it be so also. A good government is the one that solves Nigerian problems and challenges. A good government by an Efik would lift all boats belonging to all Nigerians.
Government via zoning produces leaders who pay attention to the zone that enabled it. If we must zone then we ought to go all the way. For example if it is time for a president from the West, then let the SW vote for the candidate and send him/her to Abuja. Why must NE be bothered? This would save Nigeria bundles of naira on campaigning and election expenses. It will also reduce the opportunities for rigging.
APC by rejecting zoning has now somehow distinguished itself from PDP. One of the reasons for the massive defection after the election was the expectations that APC would zone offices to some zones, so greedy people decamped to receive the rewards supposed to be zoned to their region. Now that APC has exposed them let's watch how long they stay in the APC fold.
Let ability be the only criterion for appointments and you will see Nigeria soar.
Written by Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba, Boston, Massachusetts.