- Former vice president Atiku Abubakar has argued that the idea of zoning is foreign to the Nigerian constitution
- The PDP presidential aspirant on Thursday, February 10, stated that the principle was invested only to forge unity and a sense of belonging across Nigeria
- Atiku noted that if given the mandate, he will work to make sure peace and unity thrive in all parts of the country
Atiku Abubakar, a former Nigerian vice-president, has rejected the call on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to adopt the principle of zoning for its 2023 presidential ticket.
The PDP aspirant in a meeting with stakeholders of the party on Thursday, February 10, stated that there is no portion of the Nigerian constitution that supports the idea of zoning, Punch reports.
He argued that the fundamental provision of the constitution is that all eligible citizens can vote and be voted for, irrespective of their ethnicities.
Atiku, going down memory lane, recalled that he was a member of the constituent assembly that drafted the current constitution, adding that zoning is alien to the document.
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He explained that zoning was invented in the drive to foster national unity and maintain a sense of belonging in all the geopolitical zones.
“Fundamentally, the Constitution says all of us can run. The Constitution has not barred any one of us. There is no zoning in the Constitution; there is none. I was a member of the constituent assembly that drafted the current Constitution and there was nothing like that.
“But then, as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country, we felt that there should be a sense of belonging. We went and invented this zoning.
“Therefore, we went further to say there should be zonal representation. So, let me assure you that as far as I am concerned, I will observe and implement whatever will bring about the peace and stability of this country."
Atiku also noted that indirect primary is the most efficient mode of election at party level because, according to him, it allows only politically enlightened persons to make serious decisions on behalf of others.
Meanwhile, Atiku had received massive support for his ambition.
The Southeast chapter of the Atiku Kawai Media Group declared their total support for the former vice president.
Speaking at a town hall meeting, the group's acting zonal director, Nwajesu Onyekuru, said the Igbo people needed to come out en masse to support Atiku's 2023 presidential ambition.