ZONING PALAVA….Onyeka Okofu

I was sitting patiently in my living room at about 9.45pm on the 28th of October 2010, waiting patiently for the various independent television broadcasters to air thier flagship news roundups for the day.

The TV dial was on Africa Independent Television, and i must confess it was not my preferred channel. a combination of lethargy and not being able to immediately locate the remote control, subjected me to the most intriguing 30min political documentary i have ever being opportuned to witness.

On the dot of 10pm, without any warning, came the crisp, clear, unmistakeably northern accented voice of a commentator, passionately highlighting the history, relevance, significance, importance, fallout, and consequences of the principles of zoning of political office positions in our great country Nigeria.

It was a well researched piece, tightly edited, and with a diverse and select, array of persuasive arguments for the principle of Zoning as a panacea to the stability of the Nigerian Nation as a geographical entity. In fact, for the less informed and proponents of a peaceful , stable entity called Nigeria, the movers of that documentary piece would have won their arguments hands down. Without a doubt, some of the assertions they put forward made their case look genuine, and a small part of me joined them in sympathy.

The long and short of the whole documentary was………. it is the North’s turn to be president. They have not completed the 8year term agreed by the biggest political party in Africa – P.D.P – .

The first thought that came to me as i followed the commentary was
: Is Zoning, the problem that is currently faced by over a hundred million Nigerians?
is zoning the antidote to our lack of basic education?
is zoning the antidote to inadequate health care?
is zoning the antidote to lack of power?
is zoning the antidote to the comatose manufacturing sector?
is zoning the solution to the insecurity in the country?
is zoning the solution to our housing needs?
is zoning the solution to rising cost of basic food items?

Please somebody needs to educate me on how when a particular political position is ‘allocated ‘ to a certain section of the country, it translates to meeting the needs of the masses. though these days am starting to suspect that politicians have elevated themselves to a specie dedicated to serving themselves, while the rest of us look on, and comment…………… funny, i think that is exactly what am doing right now….commenting.
I cant really do more than this though. I pray that somehow i can minister to somebody somewhere that can actually DO something.

It is indeed self serving, and an insult to the intelligence of the average Nigerian, that some people can reduce the importance of an elective office in terms of improving the lot of the country, and instead propagate ethnicity as a panacea for political stability.

What good does it do me if my country is politically stable, and the leaders do not have the wherewithal to design programmes and policies for moving the country forward? A peaceful country…….starving populace, unemployed youths, dead factories, no power, pre- historic infrastructure………., but peaceful?. This is definitely a contradiction in terms. No form of stability in any guise can take place where the fundamentals for human existence have been eroded and subjugated by the political class.

The argument is like a child who refuses to eat because the dish is not his favorite. As he grows up, he realizes that he does not eat because of the taste of the food or how aesthetically pleasing the meal is, but because he needs nourishment for survival.

Yes , it can be inferred that i am calling the continued bickering over zoning, childish!

For those in the Niger Delta, the continued zoning imbroglio is the biggest insult. Delta state alone produces over 35% of the Nations crude oil. Are there Deltans crying to be Vice President? Senate President? Speaker of House of Representatives? or do we not realize that the number 1 reason why people jostle so much for that exalted office is so they can directly control the petro dollars?
Is the Nation’s foreign reserve made up of sales of groundnut, or yams, or rice, or cassava, or bitter kola, or onions, or tomatoes ? NO!!
Its OIL MONEY!!!! For a section of the country to now continuously “harass” others about it being ‘their turn’ is absolutely childish, a waste of time and effort, and should stop forthwith.

A portion of the documentary stated that one Ango Abdulahi had written an open letter some time ago to Chief Edwin Clark, where he stated that President Goodluck Jonathan was not even among the first eleven Ijaw men that were being proposed for that position in 2007. hmmmmm.

God will help us. Amen.

1 Comment

  1. it beats my imagination that the level of thinking of our so-called leaders is so myopic that all they talk about are issues that have absolutely no bearing to the standard of living of “us all down there”. i wonder how far they will push before the whole cookie comes crumbling down. the rumblings are all over the place!

Comments are closed.