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Politics

And the Zoning War Continues

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… AND THE ZONING WAR CONTINUES


With the election of Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal as the Speaker of the House of Representatives against the directive of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party, which has the majority members in the parliament, Nigerians are still at sea at which way the zoning war goes, now that the Yorubas in the South-west geopolitical zone lost out entirely in the powerful and important positions in the country.

Zoning was on the lips of every politician and even an average political conscious Nigerians in year 2010 preparatory to the just concluded 2011 general elections in Nigeria. It was the most used word in our political discourse in 2010.

With the elections having won and lost, gladiators are back with the same song, Zoning! Zoning! Zoning! This time not that of the office of the President but of all the top positions available, namely that of the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Secretary to the Government of the Federation not excluding some juicy ministerial positions such as Finance Minister, Defence Minister and Attorney General of the Federation.

The principle of zoning encourages the even distribution of government positions among the coordinating units that make up the country to ensure that top positions are not concentrated in one section of the country, as enshrined in the constitution of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) – the party that also controls the majority in both chambers of the national assembly – and also supported by Section 14 (3) of the 1999 amended constitution, on the principle of Federal character in sharing government positions.

Since the advent of the present democratic experiment or dispensation in 1999, the zoning arrangement has always been observed religiously with the ruling parties dictating how it works at both the Federal and States, even to the local governments.

In 1999 with the emergence of President Olusegun Obasanjo as President (South-West) and his Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (North-East), the number three position, Senate President, was zoned to the South-East and the position of Speaker of House of Representatives, which is the number four goes to the North-West. That arrangement denied the South-South and North-Central opportunity to share out of the first four positions, thereby having their days under the sun for eight years.

The arrangement was maintained after the 2003 general elections as President Obasanjo won a second term ticket along with his Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, till the end of his tenure.

With the expiration of Obasanjo/Atiku’s term in 2007, political baton changed as the Late Alhaji Umar Musa Yar’adua of North-West extract won the Presidential race with his Vice-President, dr. Goodluck jonathan, of South-South extraction and the zoning arrangement was again observed, given the seat of Senate President to North-Central and the seat of the Speaker of House of Representatives was captured by the south-West throwing up the first female speaker in the history of the nation.

However, with the sudden demise of Alhaji Umar Musa Yar’adua, the country was plunged into serious chaos with advocates turning the issue of zoning to a real war of sort. Indeed a war of attrition. The then incumbent Vice-President but now President elect, Dr. Goodluck jonathan deployed his foot soldiers to annihilate anything called zoning, as it stands against his ambition to complete the tenure of his boss or even continue same.

In the white heat of the debate, President Goodluck Jonathan, brazenly denied that his party PDP never had any agreement on any clause called zoning and that he does not believe zoning as a prerequisite to bring out the best person to rule or lead. Now the ball is in his court, as leader of the party and nation, to direct and decide who and which zone picks what.

With President Jonathan (South-South) emerging as president and Arc. Namadi Sambo (North-West) as Vice-President, the war of zoning is back as the four other geopolitical zone agitates for who picks what position.

Feelers have it that aftermath of the Presidential Retreat in Obudu, the President and his party might have decided to respect and abide by the 2007 zoning arrangement, which zoned the position of Senate President to North-Central and Speaker to South-West, leaving the Igbos of South-East and the North-East to bite their fingers and wait for their turn.

How this decision will go down well with all the zones involved is a matter of time as the inauguration of the National Assembly is slated for June 2nd, especially with the South-East, a zone that produces the highest number of representatives in both the lower chamber and upper chamber of the national assembly from the ruling party.

In all, zoning in Nigeria will continue to be a card to play during any election and consideration for political positions in Nigeria. It remains the best appropriate measure to enhance the unity, peace, and stability of the nation because of the array of ethnic nationalities and the sensitivities of suspicious and jealousies associated with it.

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Interview

“Only Aketi can defeat Aketi in the coming election”

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Who’s Abayomi Ale?
My name is Ale Abayomi Abiodun. I am a lawyer, a transaction advisor, sustainability champion, workplace culture expert, and a politician. I am a family man. I am a proud Owo son and an indigene of Ondo State. I am debonair and conservative by nature. I may be a polymath too. I’m also a health enthusiast.

The Governorship election in Ondo State is approaching, what’s your view about the election?
It’s just another defined term for evaluation of performance. In the overview, we are lucky that Ondo State election won’t be going the rowdy way like Edo States’. Most times when too much emotions get invested in any particular election, it’s the masses and the State’s economy that suffers it the most. Such are usually violent; very expensive, as politicians may be spurred to spend ten naira where they ought to have spent five naira; and its usually difficult to recover from such battles when a winner eventually emerges. Such victories are usually pyrrhic and attended with enormous court battles.
We would have fall into same labyrinth if the estranged deputy governor of Ondo State had won the PDP ticket of the State. Its obvious God has favoured us for peace and prosperity with the way the Primary elections of the two mainstream political parties in the State turned out.

Who is your preferred candidate?
Oh… you can see that from every shade of my body language.
To be frank with you, I am of the believe that this administration has not only performed creditably well in so many sectors, but has set the economic quadrants of the State towards achieving financial sustainability. The latter is one of the reasons I preach that Arakunrin Akeredolu be allowed a second term to consolidate the foundation he has laid before handing over to another illustrious son of the State. This administration has positioned the state on a tripod stand of Industrial Opportunities; Security and Exit Strategy Seaport that will help export value-added produce and products.
This is a diversion that leads to financial independence of Ondo State. It’s a redirection that will gradually reduce our dependency on FAAC droppings from the Federal table. I strongly believe such a vision should be supported for another four years.

Are you supporting Aketi because he is your kinsman?
(Laughs)…..That’s not true. As a fact, I worked for another candidate in 2016 and didn’t support him then. This wasn’t because I didn’t trust his capacity and character then, but because I had the burden of political loyalty. My political teacher and master then supported Olusola Oke….he was even the Director-General of his campaign. There was no way I would switch loyalty midstream. I don’t give less than 100% loyalty to whomever or whatever I believe.

So you are back now with Barr. Olusola Oke to support the governor?
I have been back to support and respect Aketi as the leader of the party in the State right from when everyone returned to APC. I never supported the Unity Group. I returned to corporate practice of Law in Abuja since 2018…… I have learnt that to hold on to an ideology in Nigeria’s polity, you may need to retain and develop your second address; else the only alternative will be to become an apple-polish. I am not very good in bootlicking.

Do you think Aketi will win, or which of the candidates do you think will win the October 10 election in Ondo State?
Aketi will win! Part of my training is to be objective in analyzing products, projects, challenges and service. On this one, I reached the verdict that only Aketi can defeat Aketi in the coming election. In the scale of balances, Aketi is a strong candidate with the advantage of incumbency in the ruling party at both the central and the State. One of his contenders is a weak candidate, but with a good political party structure. The other is a good grassroot mobiliser in a political party that less than 2% of the voters in Ondo State presently can recognize its party logo. This is apart from that the latter has been labeled a turncoat with a vaulting ambition.
All Factors and Indicators point to Aketi’s win. The man is an example of what God meant in Psalm 23:5.

What is your dream for Ondo State?
That we eventually exploit our potentials to maximized benefits. Ondo State is strategically positioned with both land mineral resources and seaport advantage. If the first white man’s ship had berth at our shores, we would have been ten times greater than what Lagos is today. I believe that with the right balanced heads and economic advisers in Alagbaka for a continued period of terms, Ondo state will grow in leaps and bounds. Hopefully, the exclusive list of our federal constitution would be devolved soon. It has been a stone in the wheels of progress to many States in Nigeria.

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Award Winners and Recipients

OUTSTANDING NIGERIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT CHAIRMEN MERIT AWARD “2020”

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Outstanding Nigerian Local Government Chairman Merit Award 2020

Nomination List

  • The Executive Chairman, Aba South LGA. Abia State
  • The Executive Chairman, Mahia LGA, Adamawa State
  • The Executive Chairman, Ifedore LGA, Ondo State
  • The Executive Chairman, Ovia South-West LGA, Edo State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Eastern Obolo LGA, Akwa-Ibom State
  • The Executive Chairman, Iwo LGA, Osun State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Akinyele LGA, Oyo State
  • The Executive Chairman, Anambra West LGA, Anambra State
  • The Executive Chairman, Bogoro LGA, Bauchi State
  • The Executive Chairman, Sagbama LGA, Bayelsa State
  • The Executive Chairman, Ador LGA, Benue State
  • The Executive Chairman, Askira/Uba LGA, Borno State
  • The Executive Chairman, Akampa LGA, Crossriver State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Aniocha South LGA, Delta State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Ohaukwu LGA, Ebonyi State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Egor LGA, Edo State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Ikole LGA, Ekiti State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Igbo Eze LGA, Enugu State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Bwari LGA, Federal Capital Territory
  • The Executive Chairman, Balanga LGA, Gombe State
  • The Executive Chairman, Obokun LGA, Osun State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Oluyole LGA, Oyo State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Ideato South LGA, Imo State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Babura LGA, Jigawa State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Kachia LGA, Kaduna State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Gezawa LGA, Kano State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Dan Musa LGA, Katsina State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Argungu LGA, Kebbi State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Ajaokuta LGA, Kogi State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Toungo LGA, Adamawa State
  • The Executive Chairman, Baruten LGA, Kwara State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Ibadan South-West LGA, Oyo State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Eti-Osa LGA, Lagos State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Akwanga LGA, Nasarawa State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Borgu LGA, Niger State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Odeda LGA, Ogun State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Ilaje LGA, Ondo State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Ife-Central LGA, Osun State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Egbeda LGA, Oyo State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Langtang North LGA, Plateau State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Kaura Namoda LGA, Zamfara State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Girei LGA, Adamawa State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Bodinga LGA, Sokoto State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Kurmi LGA, Taraba State
  • The Executive Chairman, Olorunda LGA, Osun State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Iddo LGA, Oyo State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Karasuwa LGA, Yobe State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Kaura Namoda LGA, Zamfara State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Ryom LGA, Plateau State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Song LGA, Adamawa State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Alkaleri LGA, Bauchi State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Emure LGA, Ekiti State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Lokoja LGA, Kogi State
  • The Executive Chairman, Akoko North-West LGA, Ondo State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Yewa North LGA, Ogun State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Odo-Otin LGA, Osun State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Afijio LGA, Oyo State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Ado-Ekiti LGA, Ekiti State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Koton-Karfi LGA, Kogi State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Odeda LGA, Ogun State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Orolu LGA, Osun State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Mangu LGA, Plateau State
  •  The Executive Chairman, Ibadan South LGA, Oyo State

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Insight

Pastor Adeboye Leads Protest to End Killings in Nigeria

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Pastor Adeboye carrying placards

Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, discarded his hitherto conservative and conciliatory disposition and took to the streets to lead thousands of his members in a protest march against insecurity and killings of Christians across the nation, especially in northern states.

The action is sequel to an earlier directive by the leader of one of the most influential Pentecostal churches in Nigeria that its members should conduct the protest nationwide, with him starting his own action at exactly 11am at the RCCG National Headquarters in Ebute Metta, Lagos.

The Assistant General Overseer (Admin and Personnel) of the church, Pastor J.F Odesola, in a circular dated January 29, 2020, addressed to all regions and provinces of the RCCG, parishes of the church were asked to end their service not later than 11am on Sunday to enable members “march round their immediate environment, praying for God’s intervention in the ongoing situation in Nigeria.”

The protests are at the instance of the RCCG General Overseer, Pastor Adejare Adeboye.

The circular, read: “The Christian Association of Nigeria, the umbrella body for all Christians and Christian organisations in Nigeria, has made a clarion call for prayers and advocacy to all Christians in Nigeria in response to the inhumane acts against Christians in the country.”

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