Mary Nnah and Funmi Ogundare
Following the debate by certain people, including political analysts, on whether Nigeria should continue with the zoning system for the presidency among the six geo-political zones of the country or not, a lawyer and former President of Aka Ikenga, an association of Igbo professionals, Chief Goddy Uwazuruike, has insisted that power must go round all the regions in Nigeria, “and especially this time, it must come to the South-east region.”
Speaking during the Morning Show on Arise News yesterday, Uwazuruike, who revealed that there seems to be a recurring question of when the South-east region, which remains the only integral component of Nigeria yet to produce a president, will produce one.
He, therefore, insisted that it was high time the power came to the region, which he maintained has not produced any president since 1999.
According to him, “Let me tell you what I have always known as a child, even though now I am fully grown. What goes around comes around! Then if you hold on to something that belongs to everyone and claim it, at a point, your hands would begin to ache you and then you would be forced to bring it down and then the owners of such thing would take it over from you. In another way, power must go round in Nigeria. There are six zones that make up this country, and so far, one particular zone, since 1999, has taken turns repeatedly while others have not had any.
“I know we started in 1999 with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (South-west), we now moved to the North-west with lat President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. After that, power moved to South-south, even though it paused for only one term. Instead of it to move either to the North Central or South-east, another person from the North-west region (Buhari) got to power.”
He added: “Now, we must move and ensure that those zones that have not taken any shot at power; I mean those zones that have not held power, must also hold power beginning with the South-east region. The South-east has always been ready, and if we say it is moving to the region, all men of goodwill will agree with me that it is the best thing to do at this time.”
Questioning those insisting that power must be given to anyone who has competence and not necessarily on zoning basis, he said: “When you deem it that power is no longer good for zoning but it is only good for competence, what do you mean by competence? So, competence would now be sacrificed at the altar of those whose turn is due?
Insisting that it was the high time power came to the South-east, Uwazuruike said it would be very unfair if that wasn’t done, adding: “We are saying it is not fair. We have the best in the region. I can give you more than ten names that have the pedigree, integrity and competence to rule this country.”