Since the return to democratic rule in Nigeria, zoning is one of the most talked about issues in the nation's political space. Whether it is which region will hold a governorship position, or the next occupant of the presidential Villa, zoning has always been a hot debate topic since 1999.
Is political office zoning good for development?
While the idea of zoning political offices is good to some extent, I feel that such practice is not only undemocratic, it is also not good for development. Since the return of democracy, the only agenda that have been on the lips of many policymakers, is which region will produce the next president after a particular tenure expires. It has gotten to the point that we no longer care about the performances of the current administration, all what many people are interested in, is the next elections. As soon as the newly elected public officials are sworn in on 29th may, all focus will automatically shift to the next elections.
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This has made many successive administrations to end their tenure without implementing a credible developmental plan for the country. The focus is always on which region should produce the next president, rather than closely monitoring the activities of the current administration. If the true impacts of democracy are to be felt by the people, the focus needs to shift from the idea of zoning, to the idea of properly checkmating the activities of those currently in power.
Why Zoning the Presidency to the south may not be good for Democracy and development
Democracy entails that, government should be constituted and operated based on the wishes of the majority. Furthermore, the interests of the minority should be taken into consideration. According to the unwritten rule of power zoning in this country, the presidency is supposed to shift to the southern zone in 2023. Proponents of this ideology believe that, since the northern region will be completing eight years in power in 2023, it will be fair if the south should produce the next president. But, is that what the true dictates of democracy entails? The north holds a large amount of electoral votes based on its population, why then should they be forced to relinquish democratic power in 2023?
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The idea that regionalism and zoning should be considered before competence and democratic tenets, should be considered as archaic in a democratic setting. We should be mainly concerned with the quality of the resume that a candidate has, rather than selecting based on region and ethnicity. The President of an emerging economy like Nigeria should be chosen based on his or her pass scorecard, election based on ethnic and regional background will not help the economy to grow.
I am not against the south producing the next president, but, I am among the younger generation that strongly believes that election based on region is a bad precedence. We cannot fully evolve as a democratic nation if we continue the idea of zoning.
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