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How Goodluck Jonathan Could Be Used To Balance Power Rotation Equation Between The North and South

Over the years, there have been debates between the North and Southern regions over the issue of zoning of the Presidency. Recently, the issue has begun to dominate most of the political discourse in various parts of Nigeria. Not long ago, it was reported that the Northern region had alleged that it has 4 more years to rule before power could be returned to the South region.

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The Chairman of Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF), Yerima, who made the statement, cited that the South has ruled Nigeria for 14 years since the country returned to democratic rule in 1999, while the North has only ruled for 10 years. Following this statement, it can be argued that the insistence of some Northerners on producing the next President of Nigeria in 2023, could be as a result of the belief that the South has ruled longer than the North since 1999.

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It should be recalled that former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who ruled the country from 1999 to 2007, is a Southerner. He was succeeded by late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. Sadly, he died after spending about two years in office, and was succeeded by his Vice, Goodluck Jonathan, another Southerner. After successfully completing the administration of Yar’Adua, Jonathan contested and won his first term election. However, lost his second term bid in 2015 to President Buhari, a Northerner.

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Looking at the period candidates from each of the two regions have ruled since 1999, it is crystal clear that the South is ahead of the North by about 4 years. However, the fact that the incumbent President is a Northerner, and the rising calls for the zoning of the 2023 Presidency to the Southern region, has undoubtedly given rise to the need to balance the power rotation equation between the two regions of Nigeria.

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Arguably, it may be unfair if the North fails to return power to the South after completing 8 years. At the same time, it would equally be unfair if the South fails to recognize that it has ruled 4 more years than the North. With this in mind, one may not be wrong to say that there is the need to balance the power rotation equation and bring both regions on par with the other. In my view, this is where the former President, Goodluck Jonathan, could be used, as he appears to be the only one who can balance the equation.

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It is common knowledge that apart from Goodluck Jonathan, any other candidate that emerges as President in 2023, would most likely contest for a second-term. This could widen the margin between the number of years ruled by the North and South, particularly if a Southerner is elected president in 2023. However, with Goodluck Jonathan having served for a first-term, and is only allowed by the constitution, the serve for a maximum of 4 more years, he can be used to quench the rising calls for a Southern President in 2023.

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This would undoubtedly give the North an opportunity to take over from him, and complete another 8 years. With this, the two regions will be on par as both would have spent 18 years each at the Presidency. However, any other candidate could either widen the gap between the number of years ruled by the North and South, or see the North remain in power, probably for 16 years, before relinquishing it to the Southern region.

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