since the return of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, zoning political offices to a particular place by political parties have been fully part of democracy in 1999, two leading political parties, the people’s democratic party PDP and the all people’s party APP zoned the office of the presidency to the southwest.at that point ,PDP and APP considered moving the presidency to the southwest to appease the Yoruba region following the death of MKO Abiola who died while on struggle to president the following June 12 1993 president election which Abiola claimed that he won but victory was denied by annulment election by General Ibrahim Babangida, the military head of state then.
like the abiola factor, there are other factors that naturally propel political parties to practice zoning notably among the factors is marginalization. zoning is tacitly accepted to checkmate marginalization and ensure fairness and equity in the system.at the presidency should be allowed to move across the six geopolitical zones as the office is not the birthright of any zone, at the state levels,some states embraced zoning allowing the office of the governor to rotate across the three senatorial zones of the state; Enugu, for instance, is a leading light in this direction.
the PDP as the ruling party in the coal city-state allowed zoning to prevail giving room for all the senatorial zones of the state to take a shot at the lion building.
the all progressive congress APC also zoned the governorship election seat to nsukka senatorial zone in 2015 by nominating okay ezea from igboeze south local government area as its standard bearer. ezea eventually lost to Ifeanyi ugwuanyi the candidate of PDP from udenu local government area.
However, unlike Enugu, some states are seriously contending with the issue of zoning and rotation of power one of the states is Anambra state. Although the light of the nation, the state is on the part of zoning at the moment the issue is on the card ahead of the 2017 governorship election in the state.
It is not clear whether zoning will stand the test time and fully take its cause considering the interest of political gladiator gunning for the governorship seat from various parts of the state.
In 2013 former governor Peter Obi pulled the trigger to move the seat to the north using his incumbent powers and might ,Obi put it to the leadership of all progressive party grand alliance APGA, that it should be fair enough to zone the office of governor to the north being the only senatorial zone that yet to taste the government house in awka.
According to the former governor, it is fair to have somebody from central succeed him after his eight-year reign and considering the fact that two former governors namely chukwuemeka EZEIFE and clement chinwoke mbadinuju were from south ,it is fair for the people from north to produce the governor in 2013,That was how Willie obiano emerged the candidate for APGA and subsequently became the Anambra governor.
The PDP, either by omission or commission also went to Anambra north to raise its candidate for the 2013 contest.
The party brought out former state chairman of the party who was also a former president of national association Nigerian students NANS comrade tony nwoye to face to face abiano and others at the 2013 governorship poll.
The defunct Action Congress of Nigeria ACN which joined other parties that eventually metamorphosed the APC settled the central zone by nominating senator Chris ngige for the 2013 battle.
Ahead of the 2013 contest the issue of zoning and rotation of power appear to be at stake more than ever,While the ruling party APGA has stuck its neck on north and thus rooting for governor obianor’s second term in office ,nobody knows where the pendulums of the other notable parties the PDP and APC would swing.
With the names of senator andy uba and Walter ubaka Okeke from south, former road safety chief and one time aviation, minister osita chidoka from central and others being linked to the 2017 race under the platform Alex obi ogbolu an outstanding governorship aspirant from Onitsha under the PDP with in-depth knowledge of Anambra challenges and solutions will have senator uba Okeke chidoke and others to contend with for the PDP ticket. Dr ogbolu, a product of UNILAG, who is on his third missionary journey in the race having run for it in 2010 and 2019 respectively is banking on zoning to clinch the PDP ticket.
On the part of APC, there are names such as senator Uche ekwunife from central with George muoghalu and barth nwibe from south.with these names and possibly others on the card for the APC ticket, the issue of zoning and rotation of power would be a daunting task in APC. two politicians Dr. Chike Chike obidigbo an industrialist who was a functional candidate of APGA in 2013 governorship race and tony nwoye are said to be eyeing the APC ticket for the governorship race from the north. Either of this two could coast hoDr obidigbo,who is equally the proprietor of osisioma foundation and a champion of zoning who recently dumped APGA for APC with some members of his foundation has severally said that it is unfair for ndi Anambra to allow central zone to take a total of eleven years, allow the south to take seven years and not allow the north to take its full share on the seat.
AMATAS voice gathered that obidigbo’s defection to APC may not be unconnected with his desire of a sound candidate for the party from the north for the 2013 race. Followers of the umunya born industrialist is rooting for his candidacy in APC as such would guarantee the issue of zoning and rotation of power in the party.
Another factor that cannot be overemphasized on the issue is the interest of former governor of the central bank of Nigeria CBN chief is not linked yet with any party for 2017 race, he remains a bride and one may not be surprised if one the notable parties goes for his hands in marriage race.
A competent source confides to the AMATAS voice that APGA stakeholders from old aguata which included aguata orumba north and south local government area may approach soludo to plead with him me with the APC ticket if the party decides to go north on the principle of zoning and rotation of power.