Do You Agree? Zoning Policy Has Produced Average Leaders – Donald Duke
Presidential aspirant, Donald Duke, has once again slammed the zoning policy of major political parties in Nigeria, noting that it has only given room for mediocre leaders to helm the country’s affairs.
Zoning is the act of assigning elective and appointive positions to party members based on their geopolitical zone in a rotational manner. Duke recently dumped the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) after 20 years to actualize his presidential ambition because the party zoned its 2019 presidential ticket to any candidate from the northern region.
Duke is from Cross River State, a southern state where he served as governor for eight years between 1999 and 2007.
While addressing the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum in Abuja on Monday, September 24, 2018, Duke, now an aspirant on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), said zoning is not in the interest of the country.
He said, “The economy is not growing because by virtue of our population growth, the economy should be growing at 4%, we must exceed our population growth and Nigeria should by now have a trillion dollar economy.
“I am running for the President because Nigeria deserves as many options as possible. Things are too dire for zoning and zoning, I know, has only produced mediocres in our midst.
“The minorities should be canvassing for zoning of political offices, but I find it strange that it is the major ethnic groups that are demanding for zoning.”
Duke’s attempt to run for president in 2007 failed because PDP had also zoned its presidential ticket to the north, a ticket that was won by the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua who reportedly almost made him his deputy.
When he formally defected to the SDP on September 4, 2018, Duke said the PDP’s zoning policy is a betrayal of the ideals it started with.
If he had decided to run on the platform of the PDP, he would have had to battle for the ticket against a list of aspirants largely from the north.
The list includes former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, and former governors, Sule Lamido, Attahiru Bafarawa, Jonah Jang, Ahmed Makarfi, as well as Rabiu Kwankwaso.