ZONING: OBASANJO IS SELFISH, SAYS ATIKU

By NBF News
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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo's warning on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) zoning is sheer hypocrisy, his former deputy, Atiku Abubakar has said.

The former vice president was responding to reports credited to Obasanjo in  national dailies yesterday, that the party should go back to its zoning arrangement.

He suggested that House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal and his deputy, Emeka Ihedioha should quit office after two years in order to revive zoning.

To this, the former vice president described the call as an insult on the intelligence of Nigerians.

Atiku, in a press statement recalled that Obasanjo was the biggest beneficiary of zoning and rotation of power, which made him to occupy office for eight years.

He, however, expressed surprise that Obasanjo made a u-turn on the sanctity of zoning in the run up to the last PDP national convention when he told the nation that zoning did not exist, despite court rulings maintaining that it did, in the ruling party's constitution.

'It is surprising that former President Obasanjo is now posturing as the apostle of zoning when indeed, he was the one who did everything to destroy that equitable means of power sharing among all sections of Nigerian,' Atiku said.

According to him, Obasanjo's arbitrariness and despotism were largely responsible for the destruction of the noble objectives of zoning, saying rather than taking responsibility for ruining the party in the South-west, the former President is now deceiving Nigerians on the issue.

'It is on record that Obasanjo has no respect for the PDP constitution. He remains the problem in the PDP and governance in the country by trying to control every President he deems to have installed in power, something he could not have tolerated from others while he was in power,' he said.

He said Obasanjo has no power to determine the fate of the Speaker and his deputy, which was absolutely the responsibility of the House members who voted them freely into office.

Atiku said the honourable thing for Obasanjo to do is to quit public life and keep quiet.

In the run up to the 2011 presidential elections, the zoning took the front burner resulting in  two camps. The Northern Elders Forum of the PDP headed by Mallam Adamu Ciroma vowed to uphold zoning.

Obasanjo, was at the forefront of those who said the arrangement was alien to the party's constitution.