Human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, has stated that the 2023 presidency should be zoned to Southern Nigeria, noting that power rotation between the North and South regions of the country is constitutional.
Adegboruwa in an interview with Vanguard said such arrangement by the constitution “is a way of addressing minority fears in order to ensure equity, justice and fair play. Without the zoning principle, the major ethnic group will continue to have its way.”
The human rights lawyer said, “Zoning of elective offices is in accord with Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which states that “the composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few States or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.”
“We call it the federal character legally, and zoning politically. In the same vein, Article (7) of the Peoples Democratic Party constitution and Article (3) of the ruling All Progressives Congress constitution support the zoning principle."
The legal luminary argued that it would be unconstitutional and unjust for the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim northerner, to be succeeded by another Muslim Northerner in 2023.
"That is why I am a proponent of zoning of the presidential ticket of the political parties to the South,” he noted.
He said whether political parties, especially the All Progressives Congress APC and the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, adopted consensus, direct or indirect primary method in selecting their candidates, it would only be legally viewed if they aligned with the principles of zoning.
While observed the dominant influence of religion in the nation's polity, Adegboruwa, that going by the principles of power rotation and zoning, the proper expectations should be that the next president of the country should be a Christian Southerner.