Power Must Remain in the North, Lamido Insists

THISDAY Newspaper- Paul Obi and Ibrahim Shuaibu

The governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido yesterday joined the debate on the retention of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party’s zoning arrangement for the 2011 presidential election, insisting that power must remain in the north.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had on Thursday in the United States said that PDP’s 2011 presidential ticket had not been zoned to the North and that Acting President Goodluck Jonathan could contest if he so desires.
Apparently reacting to this comment, Lamido disagreed saying that while Jonathan was not barred by the country's constitution, “he is barred by the PDP constitution.”

Speaking during an interactive session with journalists in Dutse, the former foreign minister said that it would be against the party's gentleman’s agreement to deviate from the zoning arrangement.
According to Lamido, the party came to the position after putting a lot of factors into consideration. "It was based on the PDP wisdom and our reflection of how Nigeria has faired in 49 years, and how democracy has grown.

“We have to be honest with ourselves. While we keep democracy, while we love it, we have to be able to address our peculiar needs.
"In 1999, Nigeria was thoroughly injured. The country as a nation was threatened. In 1999, the issue was not about power (electricity); it was also not about agriculture.

“The issue was giving Nigerians the political leadership, which will first give confidence to the various components of the country.
“The PDP in the national interest zoned the presidency to the South-west and now the country is becoming a bit stable, we now want to retract what was agreed on.”

The governor said the cycle of rotational presidency under the PDP should therefore be allowed to continue and complete its course.
The former foreign affairs minister said Obasanjo’s comment was wrong, going by PDP's constitution but right if based on the Nigerian constitution. “As a party, we are guided by our rules, therefore we must insist on that."


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